In the Music Room with Stephen Oremus

December 7, 2012 at 7:12 PM

When Stephen Oremus was growing up in Livingston, his elementary music teacher would write his own musicals for students to perform. “They were so catchy and fun,” says Oremus, a Tony-award winner on Broadway.
It was this inspired creation by Paul Stefany and repeated by music teachers throughout his education in Livingston Public Schools that led Oremus on his own path in music.  “My teachers were so supportive that I wanted to make music,” he said.
It’s been quite a musical journey, from LHS to Berklee College of Music in Boston, to Broadway and working with casts that include witches, puppets and Mormons.
Oremus is the music director, vocal arranger and co-orchestrator of The Book of
 Mormon, for which he received the 2011 Tony and Drama Desk Awards for Best Orchestrations. He received a 2012 Grammy award as a producer of The Book of Mormon original Broadway cast recording.
It’s been an amazing time, and the accolades included his induction on November 29 into the Livingston High School Hall of Fame.
The Livingston Education Foundation invited Oremus to conduct a master class. Select vocal choirs were coached by one of Broadway’s brightest lights on a moving rendition of Rufus Wainwright’s Alleluia, a song best known by this younger generation from Shrek.
“It is sometimes the small intimate moments, the connections we make with people that fuel the passion for our interests and that these moments bring about our ultimate successes,” observed Heidi Cislo, Livingston Education Foundation President.

In the coming weeks, the arts will shine in Livingston Public Schools. Music students will be performing in their Winter Concerts, while LHS Theatre presents the adventures of the mystery-loving hero, Sherlock, this weekend.
Among these rising artists, perhaps, is another shining star.
The Livingston Education Foundation has been bringing back to their hometown some of the best and brightest for the LHS Hall of Fame. And it was in the LHS music room where Oremus was honored by students and his former teachers.
"Stephen is a true champion of arts education in the public schools,” said Joshua Salzman, the LHS music teacher who conducts this generation of young musicians.
In addition to Book of Mormon, Oremus is the music supervisor and arranger of the original Broadway and subsequent worldwide productions of Wicked and Avenue Q, which he also orchestrated.
His next project is working as music supervisor, orchestrator, and vocal arranger for Kinky Boots, with music by Cyndi Lauper and book by Harvey Fierstein, slated for a Broadway run beginning in April 2013.
"Our students were extremely fortunate to have the opportunity to work with Stephen on some of their upcoming concert repertoire,” Salzman said. “They will carry the musical and life lessons he shared with them well beyond their Winter Concert. He has inspired them to continue to follow their dreams and to be true to themselves. For that, we are all extremely grateful." 
  • Find a complete schedule of musical performances in Livingston Public Schools on the District’s Web site by clicking here.
In Our Schools:

Being Stuffed Never Felt So Good
Livingston students stuff – not one, but two – yellow school buses for Sandy relief efforts.  See photos of the amazing efforts by clicking here.
So What Happened to All Those Donations?
Ventnor gives thanks for Stuff the Bus and ‘an amazing movement’

District News:

The Livingston Board of Education meets 7:30 p.m. Monday, December 10, in the Livingston High School auditorium. Find the agenda by clicking here.

Kindergarten Registration: Getting Ready for the 1st Day of Kindergarten Starts Now.
Special Education-Parent Advisory Committee: Frequently Asked Questions
Community News
Find more Community News, Announcements and Events on the Bulletin Board by clicking here.

Like us on Facebook @ Livingston Public Schools; Follow us on Twitter @LivSchools.
Marilyn Joyce Lehren is the Manager of Communication and Community Outreach for Livingston Public Schools. Visit the Web site @

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of or anyone who works for is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News


Livingston Bowling's Allen Cai Named Livingston Athlete of the Week

January 15, 2017

LIVINGSTON, NJ — Livingston High School bowling’s walk-on senior Allen Cai is named Dr. Michael Rieber’s Livingston Athlete of the Week for establishing himself as one of the best bowlers in the SEC's Colonial Division.

According to bowling coach Griff Hughes, Cai currently holds a 205 average, which is the third-best average in the division. He has also bowled ...

Life-Saving Assistance Needed For Local East Orange Family

January 21, 2017

EAST ORANGE, NJ - Our community has been asked to mobilize behind an effort to provide assistance to East Orange residents Bert and Stacie Mentor in support of their brother who recently was in a terrible accident in Thailand. 

Stacie’s brother Amar Taborn was injured in a motorcycle accident while filming “The Love We World Tour” in Thailand due to a monsoon and flash ...

Upcoming Events


Sun, January 22, 11:00 AM

Meadowbrook Country Day Camp, Long Valley

Meadowbrook Country Day Camp Open House January ...

Education Sports


Tue, January 24, 7:30 PM

Livingston Public Library, Livingston

Livingston Public Library Invites Public to Free ...

Arts & Entertainment


Wed, January 25, 6:30 PM

The Newark Club - Metropolitan Room, Newark

ACG NJ Joint Super Networking Party, January 25th ...

Arts & Entertainment Business & Finance Food & Drink

Women's March on Washington: Why, and Why Now

January 19, 2017

As Donald Trump’s inauguration draws near, a number of groups are planning various events and rallies – perhaps most notably, the Women’s March on Washington. I have read a number of opinion pieces and spoken to many people about the March, and several questions and criticisms seem to consistently arise. I would like to address some two of the major themes.

(Q) The election ...

Junior League of the Oranges and Short Hills Presents: Murder Mystery Dinner in Livingston

January 21, 2017

LIVINGSTON, NJ — The Junior League of the Oranges and Short Hills (JLOSH), an organization of women developed as civic and community leaders creating lasting community impact, is hosting a Murder Mystery Dinner on Feb. 11 at 7 p.m. at Cedar Hill Country Club, 100 Walnut Street, in Livingston.

Event attire is cocktail and complimentary valet parking will be ...

Andy’s Family Music Showcases Shayne Apple on Guitar

LIVINGSTON, NJ — Andy’s Family Music Center of Livingston is proud to highlight Shayne Apple, a fifth grader at Riker Hill Elementary School with an aptitude for drums.

Shayne also plays trombone in the school band and participates in the school choir. According to his mother, Sharon, Shayne was inspired to pick up guitar not long after his father decided to learn the same ...

Preparing for the Ski Season

It’s all about physical fitness. It’s what allows elite skiers to compete in the most extreme conditions and at their highest levels.  An obvious way to ensure your enjoyment and performance is with the appropriate level of strength, endurance and conditioning.

A balanced program focusing on aerobic fitness, strength training, core and balance is the way to get the most out of ...

Step Right Up

Let’s make America the Greatest Show on Earth Again.


I was very sad to learn that after 146 years of big-top entertainment the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus is folding its tent and leaving town.


This comes a year after the circus, due to mounting pressures from animal rights activists, got rid of the elephants.


It is not really ...