"Over the past 2 years we have witnessed an amazing amount of growth and development not only in our daughters but with the Kids Company program. There is no doubt Devra's caring and compassionate demeanor, extensive acting and musical experience, and positive nature played an important role. Her exceptional talent, creativity, dedication, and passion for theater are evident in her work as a musical director, teacher, and performer."
-Alison & Harvey Roque
Another huge passion of mine is that of musical directing and working with children. Currently I am the musical director for Kids Company showcase, a children's theater group with the West Side YMCA in Manhattan. In this program and along with my wonderful choreographer Megan MacPhee and supervised by the fabulous director of community arts Amanda Selwyn I have the opportunity to teach and work with children ages six through twelve and to often be a part of some of their first theatrical and musical experiences. In showcase we create our own shows and each session choose a different theme and curriculum to focus on. This year I also began working as the musical director for a new Glee program in the middle school as well as the fourth grade choirs at Manhattan School for Children. I also enjoy working on adult productions such as Eric Sirota's 'Your name on my lips'. Below is a clip from a staged reading of that production in addition to some of my student performances throughout the last number of years with me at the piano
"Devra Seidel is a consummate pianist! As a musical director, she is sincerely polite but also firm in her way of teaching. She goes through great measures into making sure singers are fully connected with the music and that they know what the story is behind the piece. She also puts a lot of emphasis into making sure singers are using his/her voice correctly and with ease. I was fortunate to work with her in a show I did in the city, where she was my musical director. She holds a great deal of passion and persistence when she teaches. Devra is very articulate when breaking down a song, and demands singers to make strong and truthful decisions that come from the heart. On a personal note, Devra is one of the most kind, sensitive, and talented human beings I have ever known. She has no egos whatsoever and is truly a supportive, loving person. Anyone would be extremely lucky to work with a person who is passionate about teaching, music, and creating art!"
This is Kids Company showcase at the West Side YMCA performing 'When I grow up' from Matilda. Our theme for this particular showcase was Growing Up and so it seemed only fitting to incorporate this beautiful number from Matilda. I am at the piano and the wonderful drummer is Matt Donello.
This is Kids Company showcase performing 'Worlds Apart' from the musical Big River, based on Mark Twain's novel Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. The Broadway production was performed by both deaf and hearing actors and the whole show was simultaneously sung and signed. Here you will see Kids Company singing and signing. Learning American Sign Language has become an important part of my life and I love to incorporate it into my teaching. I was so proud of these kids for their beautiful work.
Staged reading of Eric Sirota's production of 'Your Name On My Lips'
Kids Company singing 'Heart'
Kids Company singing Katy Perry's 'Roar'