Sequoia Sellinger is a Brooklyn based composer, performer, teacher, music director, and curator. Sequoia is currently a composer in the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theater Workshop. Sequoia is a graduate of SUNY Purchase Conservatory of Music (BM Composition), studied under Laura Kaminsky, Du Yun, and Suzanne Farrin. Her recent musical theater works include a sci-fi inspired folk musical Gravity of Me Gone (music) that premiered in June 2017 at Ars Nova’s All New Talent Festival, Imogen (music & lyrics) that premiered at SUNY Purchase April 2017, as well as I'll Change Maybe (music) as a part of the Great Room's Cabaret at The Sheen Center in 2017. Her chamber music has been performed at the Fontainebleau Conservatoire in 2014, Seal Bay Festival in 2015, at The Stone in 2015, as well as Imani Winds Festival in 2015. Sequoia is the artistic director of the NYC Emerging Composers Collective.
She uses comedy to tease out dark or difficult subjects, as well as represent the nuance of emotion by twisting and creating unexpected tension. Deep emotion often drives and/or manifests itself in her music using atypical harmonic language, and distinct changes in phrasing, rhythms, keys, and time signatures. These atypical techniques engage mher creative impulse to reinvent even the most traditional motifs like a ballad or an “11 o’clock” number.
Musical theater is an expansive platform to tell a story by being accessible, engaging, and interactive. Her goal is to create new works that look to develop different styles of musical theater which influence and inspire political and social change, as well as create new character archetypes beyond the stereotypically-assigned gender roles seen often in musicals. This is vital to continue the ongoing discussion of what modern theater is and can be. As a female composer in a male-dominated field, it is her mission to develop stories and songs that feature female roles that are rich in complexity, depth, and detail. Women artists deserve the chance to play roles and sing songs that go beyond the limitations of the classical ingenue or the funny best friend.