NYA Learning Commons Terrace

Alumni Profile – Haley Bennett ’09

Alumni Profile

Haley Bennett ’09
New York, NY

Where do you live now? I live in New York City.

What do you do? I work as a Music Supervisor, Director, and Contractor primarily within the Broadway community but also for film and television. I enjoy the variety the different titles provide – some days, I am conducting the orchestra and playing keyboard in the pit of a Broadway musical, other days, I am overseeing the musicians at Radio City Music Hall, and still others, providing musical arrangements for TV shows or even cruise ships! I get to collaborate with so many fascinating individuals – that’s my favorite part of the job.

I am currently working on a new musical called &Juliet – it is making its North American premiere in Toronto at the moment and will be coming to Broadway this fall! It features all songs by Max Martin and a script guy the person who wrote Schitt’s Creek, so it’s a ton of fun – I think it may actually be my favorite show I’ve ever worked on!😊

Where did you go to college and what did you study? I actually got my BA in Psychology at Harvard University. When I began college, I wasn’t entirely sure what I wanted to do as a career, and I found psychology to be a fascinating subject that seemed relevant no matter what field I ended up in – the study of how we think and interact was endlessly interesting to me. While pursuing my degree, I also began interning on shows at the American Repertory Theater, a professional theater on our campus, and it was there I realized I may want to pursue a career in music.

What was your favorite academic class at NYA? My favorite academic class at NYA was either AP Calculus with Mr. Austin or AP English Language with Mr. Markonish. I found the material fascinating in both courses, and also really appreciated how both Mr. Austin and Mr. Markonish made the subject matter engaging.

What extracurricular activities did you participate in at NYA? Did you continue any after graduating? While at NYA, I spent a lot of time in Higgins Hall, playing every instrument I could and singing in all of the various choruses. It’s the love of music I developed at NYA – particularly under Mr. Ramsey’s guidance – that I ultimately parlayed into a career.

Tell us about your best moment you’ve experienced at NYA. One of my favorite moments I experienced at NYA was probably learning how to play the Shakuhachi – a Japanese bamboo flute – and how to read the vertical Japanese musical notation that is scored for the instrument. Mr. Ramsey had traveled to Japan and brought back a few flutes, and having the opportunity to learn a new instrument I had never even encountered before was such a cool experience – I don’t know if I would’ve had an experience like that anywhere else in Maine!

What makes NYA different from other schools? NYA is different from many other schools because of the close community it creates. Its small size and incredibly caring faculty allow you to really feel like you know the people you are surrounded by – you feel so supported as you learn, grow, and try new things.

Was there a class, teacher, or assignment that helped shape you, either in your career or personally, into who you are today? I would say Mr. Austin and Mr. Ramsey are the two teachers who very much helped to shape me into who I am today. They created a learning environment that was exciting and engaging, and really care about their students holistically. They always inspired me to keep pushing further and learning more, and this is a mentality I carry with me today. They also gave me the musical and mathematical tools that are so important to me professionally.

Is there anyone at NYA you still keep in touch with – teachers, coaches, friends? If so, what does it mean to you to have those connections? I still keep in touch with a few folks from NYA, including friends and teachers. As we all spread out into our various corners of the world, it feels nice to have that connection to those with shared experiences, and to have people I can reach out to who have seen me through the process of becoming who I am today – and who played such a large role in that.

Alumni are invited and encouraged to share their stories and updates with the Academy by reaching out to alumni@nya.org.