Who Am I?

I’m Peter Hilliard. I have a Bachelor’s in Music Composition from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and an MFA in Musical Theatre Writing from NYU.  When I was younger I performed in many Musicals and Operas, and I have Music Directed over 50 shows in various venues: Off Broadway, Children’s Theatre, Professional Equity Productions, Summer Camps, Junior High School, High School, Cabaret, Public, Private, Religious Schools, Churches, Synagogues, at the College Level, and at the Community Theatre Level. I am a visiting assistant professor at Villanova University, I music direct the musicals in Villanova’s graduate acting program, and I am the Music Director of Philadelphia’s Savoy Company, which is the oldest company in the world continuously performing the work of Gilbert and Sullivan. I have written award winning musicals and operas, and have been a full-time High School and Junior High School teacher. For more information about my work, visit www.hilliardandboresi.com


  1. Hi,

    I read your article on belting and making yourself aware of Good healthy belting techniques. I studied classical singing at UCSC and after I graduated with a BA in music I moved to Greece. I was very lucky to find an amazing classical singing teacher in Athens who has, like you said in your article, passed on singing technique that I now pass on to my own students. I teach young high school students. I’m happy to say that my students learn to sing freely without tension and sound great. I try not to teach all aspects of the classical technique I know because I know they don’t want to sound classical. Recently I have a few students that belt and sound good, but with my background in classical singing lack the knowledge of what healthy belting is. Could you recommend a site where I can learn more about belting? It would be much appreciated. Thank you!

  2. Hey Peter, I enjoy your blog! There aren’t too many blogs that talk about musical theatre from an MD’s or musician’s point of view. I’ve been making many posts on my own blog about the technical side of musical theatre – keyboard programming, sound design, and whatnot. Check it out if you have some time! I’ll be sure to add your blog to my blogroll.


  3. Hi Peter,
    It’s so funny but I am researching Janet in Drowsy for this audition. and i came across your blog. I live in LA actually. I grew up right near Villanova and also grew up performing with Kevin Dietzler doing Summer Stage years and years ago. I got my undergrad in Musical Theatre at Syracuse University. Small world right! and that post was on my bday! crazy!

    Anyway Thank you for posting so much valuable information. It helped me a lot.

    I wish finding the actual scripts for musicals was as easy as getting plays…I could do a better script analysis.

    Have a great one!

  4. I was happily surprised to see you refer to my article on Directing The Chorus. So glad its of use to you and your readers. I actually have a book coming out in December called, “Directing In Musical Theatre: an essential guide” from Routledge. It includes parts of that article and a good deal more that might be of use to your readers. Thanks again for your generous praise!

  5. Dear Peter,

    I cannot thank you enough for your excellent notes on ‘Drowsy’. Informative, funny and immensely useful. You saved us hundreds of hours.

    All the best,

    Adam (Melbourne, Australia)

  6. I notice you use the direct Music Director. Do you correct people who refer to you as a Musical Director? And what do you consider the difference?

    • There may well be a difference, but I don’t know what it is. The only semantic difference for me is that Music Director covers all the music elements of the production, and avoids the potential confusion of being someone who directs musicals.

      One time I filled in a nametag announcing myself as the MD. Someone asked me what my specialty was, and it took me a while to realize they thought I was a doctor! Now I write Music Director without abbreviation. 🙂

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