If you are a musical theatre-goer then there is a pretty good chance you have heard the orchestra play one of Peter Casey’s songs.
The Oakdale music director, conductor, composer and orchestrator has now been recognised for 40 years of service to the musical theatre industry.
He has been named on the Queen’s Birthday Honours List as a Member of the Order of Australia (AM).
“I feel completely overwhelmed and greatly honoured to have been considered worthy of receiving this magnificent award,” Mr Casey said.
“I have loved conducting shows and giving joy to people in auditoriums around Australia and overseas.”
Mr Casey has been the musical director of several well-known musical productions.
These include Les Miserables, The Sound of Music, The King and I (1991), The Producers, The Wizard of Oz and Chicago.
He has started his career as a musical director working on Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical Evita.
Mr Casey also worked on Cats and Jesus Christ Superstar as well as The Production Company’s performances of Sunset Boulevard, The Pajama Game, The King and I (2010) and Anything Goes.
“I have been very privileged to work on so many productions,” Mr Casey said.
Not to mention his musical director work on Gordon Frost Organisation’s Australian tour of Annie The Musical and Tim Lawson’s Australian premiere production of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.
In 1998, Peter was Musical Director for the acclaimed arena production The Main Event, starring Olivia Newton-John, Anthony Warlow and John Farnham.
Mr Casey has also composed and orchestrated several musical productions, operas and recordings in Singapore and Korea.
“I recently completed an orchestration for a production of Hamlet The Musical in South Korea,” he said.
“Korea is my second home. I have travelled back and forth for 18 years.”
Mr Casey grew up playing the piano.
In his younger years, Mr Casey performed and sung in productions before finding his true calling.
“I realised the place for me was in production because that’s where I felt I could give more to the craft,” he said.
“My passion is orchestrating. I love to compose and write music.
“No matter where I am I pull out my laptop and work on songs for a symphony-sized orchestra.
“I can work on all the songs in a production including scene change and dance music.
“I get the greatest joy out of creating music based on a single melody line.
“And the greatest thrill for me is when an orchestra plays my music for the first time.”
“I have meet hundreds of actors, musicians and performers. I have had a wonderful life working with them.”
Mr Casey and his wife Catherine moved to Oakdale nine months ago.
Mr Casey thanked his wife, parents and family as well as friends and colleagues within the performing arts community for their support and inspiration throughout his career.