Gil Harel: "Come From Away" and the Triumph of the Human Spirit

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21st century Broadway musicals have often eschewed metaphor (see: PippinInto the WoodsChildren of Eden, etc) for direct takes on emotionally turbulent experiences (see: Next to NormalJagged Little PillDear Evan Hansen). Come From Away is set in the unlikeliest of places: Gander, Newfoundland. Despite being a remote blip on the radar, this town is at the center of a musical that explores how the townsfolk sprang to life in the immediate aftermath of the September 11th terrorist attacks. With many planes diverted to what was once a trans-Atlantic refueling stop, the residents of Gander found themselves struggling to accommodate thousands of confused, tired and – like them – traumatized human beings coming to grips with an unimaginable tragedy.

Gil Harel (PhD, Brandeis University) is a musicologist and music theorist whose interests include styles ranging from western art music to contemporary musical theater. Previously, he served on the faculty at CUNY Baruch College (where he was awarded the prestigious "Presidential Excellence Award for Distinguished Teaching"). Currently, he is Full Professor of Music at CT State Naugatuck Valley, where he has been presented with the AFT "Merit Award for Exemplary Service to the College" for 6 consecutive years. In 2020, he was honored with the coveted Connecticut Board of Regents (BOR) Teaching Award. At NVCC, Dr. Harel conducts the college chorale, a cappella ensemble, teaches music history and theory, and serves as musical director of theater productions.