Chrisse Roccaro to be musical director for Lincoln’s spring musical


Camilla Correani

Chrisse Roccaro is the musical director of Lincoln’s production of “The Sound of Music,” which opens April 12, 2022.

The job of a musical director requires dedication, hard work and passion. Chrisse Roccaro, the musical director for Lincoln’s upcoming show, “The Sound of Music,” fits that description with ease.

Roccaro’s impressive career as an actor, singer and teacher has spanned most of her life. She graduated from Marylhurst College with a Bachelor’s degree in music and vocal performance in 1973, but her passion for the performing arts started when she was a kid.

As a musical director, she teaches the musical arrangements to the cast and guides them through the compositions. Throughout her career, she has come to value the learning experience high school theater provides for students.

“This is the neat thing about educational theater: it’s different from community theater or other professional theater,” Roccaro said. “In those spheres, you’re looking to create the most professional production you can, and that’s the most important thing. In educational theater, the most important thing is to give the students the best educational experience and the best learning experience.”

For Roccaro, understanding the intentions behind the music is critical to students’ success. Each note and word included by the composer and the lyricist matters, and that’s something that she aims to teach the cast; staying true to the original score is important. 

“What are they trying to tell us?” Roccaro asked rhetorically. “What are we supposed to learn from that? And that’s why, when I musical direct, we go note for note, exactly the way it is on the page.”

Erin Dornan, a junior, was cast as Liesl in “The Sound of Music.” She has been working with Roccaro on her duet with Rolf. 

“I’m excited to get to know [Roccaro] and her background more, and why she cares so much about the show, because I can tell that she really does,” Dornan said. “I’m excited to keep working with her on my duet song.”

Roccaro is excited to see the show bloom.

“This may not ever be perfect, but it’s going to be better than it was when we started,” she said. “That’s our goal—to give everybody a learning experience and a chance to grow.”