For more than a decade, Colby Beserra's broad experience in both music and theater has ranged from performance, production, and composition to direction and education. He recently sang backup vocals for country singer Faith Hill for a Soundstage performance which aired December 2008 on PBS. As a composer, he wrote the lyrics for ?Lovely,? a song he lent vocals to on a version that was featured in the movie The Guardian (starring Kevin Costner and Ashton Kutcher).
With engineer Brian Schwab, Colby is the creator of and Music Director for WBEZ radio's "Under Cover" series, a co-production between Great Life Music and Chicago Public Radio. Since 2001, he has served as Music Director for the Albany Park Theater Project (APTP), a nationally renowned, community-based youth theater company that creates original theater based on true stories from Chicago's Albany Park neighborhood. Colby served as the Music Director for the world premiere of Katrina: The Girl Who Wanted Her Name Back at Adventure Stage Chicago in the spring of 2009.
A graduate of Northwestern University's theater school, Colby was the first Director of the Vittum Theater (now known as Adventure Stage Chicago). In his more than five years at the Vittum, Colby helped lay a foundation of high-quality theater and arts programming catering to the students and teachers of Chicago's schools. In 2007, the company was named ?Outstanding New Children's Theatre Company? by The American Alliance for Theatre and Education. In other theater work, Colby wrote, produced, and performed the score for The Jenkins Farm Project, a dance installation created by his wife Annie Beserra. He was the Music Director, one of three composers, and played the part of Oberon in Striding Lion InterArts Workshop's adaptation of A Midsummer Night's Dream (called Ill Met By Moonlight) in 2004. He also served as Co-Music Director, actor, and singer in the Frank Zappa-inspired piece Billy The Mountain and Other Wartime Stories in Chicago and at the New York International Fringe Festival. A two-time grant recipient from the American Composers Forum, Colby has produced and performed original music on projects for many talented artists. Through Great Life Music, he has contributed original music to Senator Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign website. Selections from Colby's self-titled album and Jukebox Saloon, a collaboration with pianist Dan Lipton, can be heard at www.greatlifemusic.com and www.jukeboxsaloon.com..