Gerard Chiusano (Conductor/Composer) was raised in Belleville, New Jersey. He began piano studies at the age of four with private teachers. He later studied piano with Maria Daffner and piano and composition with Thomas Parente at Montclair State [College] in the Preparatory Division. He went on to study piano with Richard Fabre and composition with Craig Shuler, both at The Juilliard School Pre-College Division, as well as conducting with Roger Nierenberg. He studied composition with David Loeb at The Mannes College of Music and with David Noon at Manhattan School of Music, as well piano with John MacArthur and conducting with Giampaolo Braccali.
His professional worked has spanned genres from television and theatre to sacred music in the Catholic Church. Such work includes New Jersey’s Paper Mill Playhouse, as assistant conductor to Emmy Awarding-winning Andrew Carl Wilk (creator of The National Geographic Channel), Massachusetts’ North Shore Music Theater, and the Westport Country Playhouse in Connecticut, as well as Princess Cruises, Ltd., and has also served as pianist for the past original off-Broadway production of The Fantasticks. He has worked with such celebrities as Robby Benson, Nancy Dussault and Karen Morrow. He also orchestrated and conducted the musical Green Gables by colleague composers Mark Friedman and Janet Vogt. His work in music for television has included work for National Geographic Television. He has also made several appearances on Sounds from the Spires, on Sirius/XM’s The Catholic Channel.
He is author and the co-editor of Liturgical Ensemble Basics. His articles on liturgy and music may also be found in Ministry & Liturgy (Resource Publications, San Jose, California) and Pastoral Music (N.P.M., Silver Spring, Maryland).
In 1988 he made his debut at Alice Tully Hall as pianist and organist for Mass by Leonard Bernstein.
In 1989 Mr. Chiusano was co-musical director of Heart’s Desire, by Emmy Award- winning conductor and composer Glenn Roven.
In 1995 he was a member of the planning committee for the visit of Pope John Paul II to the Archdiocese of Newark, New Jersey. He was pianist for the Papal Mass of October 5, 1995 in Giants Stadium, and his psalm setting, The Precepts of the Lord, was composed for and performed as part of the liturgy.
He has served as music director at churches in New Jersey and California.
As a composer Mr. Chiusano has dedicated much time to the world of opera, having composed two full-length works, both Shakespeare adaptations: Antony & Cleopatra and Macbeth. His Antony & Cleopatra was awarded the 2004 John E. Profant Award for Excellence in the Arts, given in Santa Barbara, California. His sacred music is published
by OCP of Portland, Oregon, G.I.A. Publications and World Library Publications, both of Chicago, Illinois, and Lorenz Co. of Dayton, Ohio. With his wife and lyricist, Mary, his most recent sacred collection is Waiting for Love, published by OCP. The recording features Jess LeProtto (The Grinch Who Stole Christmas; So You Think You Can Dance ; Newsies), Heather Tepe (Gypsy [revival with Bernadette Peters]) and Mandy Bruno (The Young and the Restless; Young Frankenstein; Les Miserables [2008 revival]).
In 2005 he orchestrated and conducted Green Gables, by fellow composers Mark Friedman and Janet Vogt, premiered at The Victoria Theater in Dayton, Ohio.
In 2010 he completed work on his Marian Symphony, dedicated to his wife, Mary. In 2012 he completed Divertimento for Strings. He is currently finishing The Seven Last Words of Christ for chorus, soloists and orchestra, to be premiered in the spring of 2013.
Mr. Chiusano made his Carnegie Hall debut on January 14, 2011, performing with fellow Catholic composer John Angotti.
With colleague and playwright Robert Cutrofello he is working on a musical adaptation of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Young Goodman Brown, and with Mr. Cutrofello, as well as with his own wife, Mary, and author Mary Donnarumma Sharnick, he is currently working on an adaptation of Ms. Donnarumma Sharnick’s Thirst—A Novel.
Mr. Chiusano is the Director of Liturgy and Music at The Church of Saint Luke in Toms River, New Jersey, where he is also founder and music director of The Chamber Orchestra of Saint Luke.