the professional music database.
(pix from Five For Fighting's "100 Years" video)
Christy Crowl began her music career at the early age of 5, in a featured performance of the troupe "Friends 'N Spirit," at the Maryland Theatre. Her father, Vaughn Crowl, directed the popular group and Christy grew up performing up and down the East Coast as their keyboardist throughout her teenage years. Simultaneously, Christy studied with Julliard revered concert pianist Sung Mi Rhee, and was the youngest contestant to win the Maryland State Piano Concerto Competition at age 13. Christy was invited to attend the prestigious Tanglewood Institute as a junior in high school, an experience that allowed her to be part of what would be the legendary Leonard Bernstein's last summer there. Tanglewood also afforded her the opportunity to study Chamber Music with the prodigious Roger Viosin. Her senior year of high school, Christy studied with Horowitz's dual piano partner, Ukranian born Eugenia Evans at Shenandoah Conservatory, who guided her to the University of Miami, a college that would incorporate Christy's interest in both the popular and classical fields.
Christy embraced the experience of being part of the University of Miami's prestigious and diverse music school whole-heartedly, enrolling as a classical piano major, but finding herself playing for Rock Ensemble, writing pop songs to be recorded by her music engineering friends, and singing in its top-ranked Jazz Vocal 1 ensemble. She spent 2 of her summer semesters playing and studying abroad in Salzburg, Austria, and Trento, Italy, as part of the University of Miami's cultural exchange programs, and made many connections to today's renown classical musicians there.
Upon her early graduation, her teacher, JB Floyd, introduced her to the Masters Degree in Media Writing and Production program at UM, and Christy was hooked. Spending the next two years immersed in writing music for media (film, television, songwriting, and arranging), Christy was able to spread her wings and start her eclectic musical journey – one which has taken her around the world and then some to the current day.
Christy is a member of the Grammy winning band
Christy has collaborated with some of the
biggest names and legends in music
as a music director, conductor,
Music & Creative Collaborator.
After finishing her Masters Degree, Christy moved to Los Angeles, and quickly became submersed in the music scene. Her first job as an assistant in a post production house soon led to an opportunity to be a Music Supervisor, and she was utilized as a singer, arranger, music director, and composer on many of the company’s big projects. Learning a lot about the music business was beneficial, but after some soul-searching Christy decided to return to her artist roots and pursue her Doctorate of Musical Arts at the University of Southern California. This decision, looking back, was crucial to the course of her career for during her first semester, Christy was referred by USC and hired as the pianist for Warner Bros. “Bugs Bunny on Broadway” show, starred as the pianist in the IMAX film “Top Speed,” and started as the on camera pianist for the soap opera Days of Our Lives.
As her professional music career was beginning to expand, Christy decided to finish out the year at USC but did not continue pursuing her doctorate degree. She spent the next year as a session musician and singer while writing and producing her first album, which hit airwaves in the summer of 2001 and boasted several AC Top 40 singles, “Beautiful”, “I See Light,” and “Open It Up.” Her inspiration to complete the album came from the blessing of her song “I See Light” being chosen as the theme for the United Nations’ “Festival of Excellence” in Geneva Switzerland in 2000. Christy was then invited to speak at the United Nations as an advocate of Music in Education as well as perform in concert for UN dignitaries at a concert held in the beautiful Victoria Hall. It was an amazing time for Christy as an artist and the beginnings of her bigger musical vision. During the following year, to support her album’s success on the radio, Christy spent the summer of 2001 on tour sponsored by Borders. The album was hailed an independent success, and she was encouraged to begin work on her follow up immediately by many industry radio hosts and critics. That wouldn’t happen, though, as Christy had only returned to LA for several weeks when 9-11-01 occurred, and the world was changed forever.
The next chapter for Christy, as well as much of the music industry and the world at large, was redefining her career and direction. After being so affected by 9-11 personally and professionally, Christy began to feel a pull in her life to be the builder, or facilitator, of a more unified music community. Over the course of the following several years, while Christy worked in varying capacities with industry heavyweights Barbra Streisand, David Foster, Julie Andrews, Bob Esty and Neil Young, among others, she co-created a database for professional singers, ProSingersAccess.com, and created and produced a live film-scoring and performance series called “Songs, Shorts, and Scores”. ProSingersAccess was a niche database that facilitated the hiring of professional singers by professional musicians, which seemed a pretty simple thing, but Christy learned that in actuality it was not. Through ProSingersAccess, composers and producers were able to specifically search for the right kind of singer they needed for their project in an online database, eliminating the need to surf through different individual websites or listening to physical CD demos taking time they did not have. “Songs, Shorts, and Scores” was a live event that created community amongst singers, musicians, and composers, and an opportunity for all involved to share their talents with one another for the public. Christy’s interest in technology and how it can be utilized to bring out the best in the music community was beginning to bloom.
In 2008, Christy began subbing as a keyboardist for the hit musical, ”Wicked” in Los Angeles, and when she learned of the need for conductors for the show, asked for a shot at doing so. The asking for opportunity led to Christy being the first woman to conduct the show in North America, and to spending the next couple years traveling on both the first and second national tours. Christy also began orchestrating and Music Directing big shows in Los Angeles, receiving a number of LA Weekly Awards, Scenie Awards, Garland Awards, and LA Critic’s Awards for her work. Working in a collaborative environment with hundreds of musicians a year, Christy was also able to see first hand the need for an umbrella organization in music to be created to serve as representative of the legacy of invaluable work her colleagues had done over the course of their music careers. Her development of ProMusicDB began in earnest during this time.The Grammy-winning band Mannheim Steamroller invited Christy to be their keyboardist in 2012, and Christy continues to perform as a member of the group. Her work on a recent non-Mannheim project as Music Supervisor, Music Director, and Orchestrator to Tony-nominated Marcia Milgrom Dodge’s production of “Cabaret” was hailed as “Masterful,” and an “Artistic Triumph” by critics in St. Louis, and is currently playing in Cincinnati. Christy also served as Music Director and Conductor for the inaugural symphony concerts in May 2014 at the new Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills, which featured the west-coast premiere of "Trumpet of the Swan," a narrated symphony by composer Jason Robert Brown.
Throughout most of of 2013-14, however, Christy has devoted her time and energy in the development of ProMusicDB, securing a development team from Stanford University, establishing an industry-wide Advisory Committee, participating in music metadata working groups within NARAS, NARM, and DDEX, securing Fiscal Sponsorship by the Pasadena Arts Council, and being an invited speaker at the 2014 American Library Association Annual Conference, the Music Library Association Annual Conference, and the Quincy Jones Consortium. Christy has also received organizational endorsements for ProMusicDB from the American Federation of Musicians Local 47 (Los Angeles), SAG-AFTRA Singers, and the Music Library Association, and EIDR, the Entertainment Identifier Registry Association. For more information on ProMusicDB, please visit ProMusicDB.org.
To see more photos, click on the images below:
Picture Gallery Mannheim Steamroller