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Schreiber Grad Follows Footsteps of Rodgers and Hammerstein

At Columbia University, Solomon Hoffman makes musical strides.

Schreiber graduate Solomon Hoffman (class of 2010) recently co-wrote the music and lyrics for "The Varsity Show," which is billed as one of the oldest traditions at Columbia University, where Hoffman now studies. A recording of the show's soundtrack is available online

As a high school student, Hoffman attended Juilliard Pre-College Division. His works have been performed at a New York Philharmonic school day concert, and at the Kennedy Center. 

Patch caught up with Hoffman, to learn about his most recent accomplishments, and to find out what's next in his immediate future. 

Patch: You co-wrote a musical that was recently produced at Columbia University. What kind of a musical is it?

Solomon Hoffman: I co-wrote the music and lyrics for "The Varsity Show." The Varsity Show is an annual student written musical making fun of life at Columbia. It's a 118-year tradition whose authors have included Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein, Lorenz Hart, I.A.L. Diamond, and more recently, Jeannine Tesori (Schreiber graduate), Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey. It started as a fundraiser for athletic events, but has since evolved into a full-length plot based musical. 

Patch: How many people came to see the show?

Hoffman: We did four performances over one weekend, and around 3,300 people came to see it. A large portion of the student body comes to see it as well as many administrators and faculty. It's exciting to perform for such a large and enthusiastic audience. It really helps to bring the Columbia community together right before we take our finals.

Patch: Have you composed musicals before?

Hoffman: Yes! In the fall I co-wrote the music and lyrics for a holiday themed musical at Columbia called XMAS. I am also a camp counselor at ATLAST and wrote a short musical for my theater classes last summer. Other than that just a few stand-alone songs. Last year I was an assistant to the composers of The Varsity Show, so that's where I learned more about writing for musical theater. Before that I had primarily written instrumental music.

Patch: Is musical theater something you want to pursue as a career?

Hoffman: Yes! I hope to have a career working in musical theater in some capacity. In addition to composing I'm also interested in orchestrating, conducting and musical directing.

Patch: What's next for you?

Hoffman: This summer I'll be conducting the . It's my ninth year being involved and my sixth as conductor so I'm looking forward to another summer with this wonderful community. Next fall I'll be working on an original song cycle at Columbia.

Robert J. Pape, Jr. May 30, 2012 at 07:04 PM
Congratulations Soloman! We have always admired your musical talent and creativity. Columbia is fortunate to have you. Keep up the wonderful work! - the Pape family
Greg Winter May 31, 2012 at 12:08 PM
Solomon has also been a huge inspiration to a lot of kids in Port ever. My three daughters absolutely love Solomon because he also wrote the music for and helped direct the summer shows at ATLAST which were absolutely adorable. They made the trek to Columbia to see the Varsity Show and look forward to seeing Solomon one day at Tanglewood or Carnegie Hall.
Jane Singer May 31, 2012 at 12:39 PM
Thought you would like another success story.
marilyn gilbert May 31, 2012 at 12:47 PM
Great work, Solomon!!
portsince1967 August 18, 2012 at 05:55 PM
Congratulations Solomon! Come up to Frenchwoods next summer! Donna and Morgan Seftel

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