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Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Behind the Scenes—Gina Dyches Superstar!

Gina Dyches (front row, 3rd from right) with most of the cast of Jesus Christ Superstar
Live in Concert
. Photo courtesy the artist.
By David Hsieh

Gina Dyches is a special events coordinator at BAM and an accomplished violinist freelancing around New York City. What do the two jobs have in common? They both require “great organizational skills,” according to Gina. What about another? “They are the coolest!” A case in point: at BAM, she is helping to plan a gala honoring Jeremy Irons and Darren Aronofsky, but as a violinist, she played in one of the biggest TV events of the year—Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert, which aired on Easter night on NBC. 

Playing a rock musical broadcast live on network television is not what Gina had dreamed of when she picked up a violin as a shy fourth grader in a Phoenix suburb public school. Nor was living in New York and working at one of the premier contemporary performing art presenters in the world! Gina tells us how she got here.

David Hsieh: When and how did you start at BAM?

Gina Dyches: I started on July 24, 2017. Before it I was working at Roulette as an event manager. I did a lot of coordinating and thought I was good at. I was moving along my desire of learning how to produce a show. I wanted to learn how to get the money to do it. And the BAM opportunity came along.

Gina Dyches. Photo courtesy the artist
DH: How did you start the violin

GD: I started when I was 10 years old. The public school I was in has a music program. I tried a bunch of instruments and just took to violin instantly. I excelled at it from the get-go so the teacher recommended me for private lessons at the end of that school year. I went to Arizona State University and studied music with Katie McLin to whom I am grateful for everything to this day. She really made me feel that I could do this, that I have a special gift for it, that it’s okay to love it, and that there’s always a way to always improve. She made me understand music.

DH: And what happened after that?

GD: I had a master’s degree in orchestral performing from Rice University. But by the end of it I realized being a professional musician was not a career for me. It would a full time job and I wouldn’t be able to pursue other avenues in arts that I was also interested in. In 2015 my partner got a job in New York so we moved here.

DH: How do you feel when you play?

GD: I feel so happy to realize I have a different voice. I was a shy child. Music was a way for me to communicate and be creative. I feel through music I can be equally understood and that I am expressing my soul for people to get to know my personality.

DH: What does Special Events at BAM do?

We work on development related events—dinners, galas, receptions, etc. Some are for members and patrons and some are for fundraising. We have 25-30 events a season, and they range in different levels of details, from a small cocktail reception at the president’s office to a full-blown gala. We are a four-person team, which also includes James Vause (director), Grace Eubank, and Hector Rios.

DH: How did you get to play in Jesus Christ Superstar?

GD: It was really through word-of-mouth. I have kept playing with different groups in New York and someone working on the show called me.

DH: What was playing that show like?

GD: It was so exciting. It was so fun. There was a lot of audience screaming and you could feel that energy. People just don’t react that way in a classical concert. It was exhilarating to feel like a rock star for about 90 minutes!

David Hsieh is a publicity manager at BAM.

©️ 2018, Brooklyn Academy of Music.

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