|Winners of the 5th Annual Jerry Harrington Musical Theatre Awards show off their certificates after the presentation. Pictured at the reception are BMI's Jean Banks, Advanced Workshop winner Jack Lechner, Second Year Workshop winner David Turner, First Year Workshop winner Aron Accurso, Librettists Workshop winner Richard Gleaves, and BMI Foundation President Ralph Jackson. Photo by Gary Gershoff
This year's winners, chosen by the Workshop Steering Committee, include First Year Workshop student Aron Accurso, Second Year student David Turner, Advanced Workshop student Jack Lechner, and Librettists Workshop student Richard Gleaves.
Established by Harrington's longtime friend and colleague, BMI executive Evelyn Buckstein, the awards are given each year in Harrington's honor to celebrate the late attorney's lifelong love of musical theater. In only five years, these awards have already given early recognition to some of the most talented and promising young musical theatre composers and librettists working in the field today, including newly crowned Tony Award winners Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx (Avenue Q) who received the first Harrington awards in 2000.
The BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop was established in 1961 by the late Lehman Engel, dean of American musical theater, to create a setting where new writers could learn their craft. Consisting of approximately 200 members, the Workshop is a highly competitive and selective teaching environment designed to provide hands on opportunities for theater composers and lyricists. An innovative program at its inception, the Workshop continues to flourish and is considered to be the foremost training ground for new writing voices. In addition to Marx and Lopez, other successful Workshop alumni include Edward Kleban (A Chorus Line), Susan Birkenhead (Jelly's Last Jam), and Gerard Allesandrini (Forbidden Broadway).
The BMI Foundation, Inc. is a not-for-profit corporation founded in 1985 to support the creation, performance, and study of music through awards, scholarships, commissions and grants. Tax-deductible donations to the Foundation come primarily from songwriters, composers and publishers, BMI employees and members of the public with a special interest in music. Because both the Foundation staff and the distinguished members of the Advisory Panel serve without compensation, over 97% of all donations and income are used for charitable grants.