About the Artist

Adam Michael Tilford, Musical Director – Doris Day: My Secret Love

Tell me about the play you are working on for Emerging Artists Theatre. What do you love most about this play?

Doris Day: My Secret Love. I love the story of Doris’ “backstage” life that is explored. And how the music can be used to tell that story. Her catalog was so extensive, and her career so long the musical palette is very rich.

Can you tell us a little about your artistic process or background? How is that process being realized in your work on this play?

I was trained as an actor but make my living as a composer/music director/coach. So I approach the music from an actor’s perspective. This includes playing the piano and singing. It’s been great to work with David on how an accompanist really is an emotional partner to a performer. They’re not just sitting up there playing. And exploring how the playing can respond to or influence a performer’s emotional state. Working with Tiffan on how to get the essence of Doris’ voice while still keeping a sense of freshness and forward emotional movement has been a complete joy. I like to work like a musical dramaturg, and this play has let me do that especially, as a Musical Director that isn’t actually playing or performing. It was a huge combination of my thoughts and the performer’s thoughts/talents that made it live musically.

How do you feel rehearsals are going? What is your vision for this piece or this project?

Rehearsals were a dream. I hope that the audience gets the essence of Doris as a performer but also gets to feel like they’re watching a living, breathing, and changing story.


Adam Michael Tilford (Musical Director) Adam Michael Tilford is a composer, performer, and educator based in New York City. His new musical version of A Christmas Carol was nominated for Best New Musical at the NY Innovative Theatre Awards. He recently co-wrote three new songs for the upcoming indie film Big Easy Queens. He can be seen behind the piano at the world-famous Marie’s Crisis Piano bar on the TVLand show Younger. He has also led Marie’s Crisis-style piano bar singalongs in London at Overtures Piano Bar, in Sydney at The Oxford Hotel as part of the Melbourne Fringe Festival, and in New York’s Central Park as part of Darren Criss’ Elsie Fest. He has worked across the country in theater education for more than two decades. His vocal students have appeared on Broadway/national tours of Kinky Boots, King Kong, Hairspray and others. Adam is on staff as an accompanist and musical director at AMDA in New York.