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Joining us again from the Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival!

Ron Drotos began improvising on the piano as a child, creating the dinosaur sounds he heard in his imagination. He spent his teenage years playing in jazz and rock bands, and in 1985 received a Bachelor’s degree in Music Composition from The University of Connecticut, where he studied with Hale Smith. During this time, Ron studied jazz piano with Dr. Billy Taylor, Walter Bishop, Jr., Harold Danko, and Ellen Rowe. From 1987-88, Ron worked as assistant to the baritone saxophonist Gerry Mulligan, and then began to pursue a music career of his own.

After moving to New York City in 1989, Ron served as Associate Music Director and created orchestrations for the Broadway musical Swinging On A Star, which received a Tony Award® nomination for Best Musical in 1995. Additional Broadway credits include Smokey Joe’s Café, The Life, and Fosse. Ron has orchestrated for the New York Pops Orchestra, with whom he has appeared several times at Carnegie Hall. He has been featured as Music Director on the 92nd St. Y’s famed “Lyrics and Lyricists” series, and has performed with vocalists Julius LaRosa, Judy Collins, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Nell Carter, and Giacomo Gates. In addition, Ron has taught at the Fairbanks (Alaska) Summer Arts Festival since 1999, where he has been inducted into the festival’s Hall of Fame.