SHU’s new theater manager records music for Macy’s Thanksgiving parade


FAIRFIELD – Millions of viewers will be able to discover the work of the new director of the University of the Sacred Heart’s Community Theater on the occasion of Thanksgiving.

Matt Oestreicher, from Fairfield, has not only worked with a number of famous musicians, but has also recorded all of the music for Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

“I’ve been doing this since 2017,” he said. “I am part of the basic musical team for the parade.”

During the two days he recorded the music for the parade, Oestreicher and a group of producers and musicians spent hours in a recording studio. They have collaborated with a number of musicians – from Broadway artists to seasoned pop singers and singers.

Oestreicher said it was a high-pressure situation, adding that the songs will be heard by millions of people on the day of the parade.

“Performers walked in and out of the studio, sometimes with prepared music and sometimes not. For those who have not brought music, Oestreicher and his team have prepared something on site, ”the University of the Sacred Heart said in a statement. “The team was led by Ray Chew, music director of ABC’s ‘Dancing with the Stars’.”

Oestreicher started working at the community theater a few months ago. A statement from the university said he was excited to bring his vision, along with world-class acts, educational opportunities and films, to the downtown Fairfield facility – a place he frequented when he was a child.

He plays many instruments and writes and produces music. He worked Stevie Wonder, John Legend and Alicia Keys and performed at Carnegie Hall and the Apollo Theater in New York City.

“He said he was eager for the theater – a dynamic and professional place – to play a role in the lives of SHU students and the community at large,” said the university.

Oestreicher began taking guitar and piano lessons at an early age, according to SHU. He performed in groups with friends and began bringing his talents to clubs and music halls in high school, placing first for piano and second for guitar at the Connecticut All State Music Awards.

“I was really lucky to have parents who nurtured me throughout my musical endeavors,” Oestreicher said, adding that seeing Broadway shows with them had exposed him to the power of the art and its ability to unite people. “This is the raison d’être of life… art gives you that connection with the bigger world. “

He received a Bachelor of Philosophy from Tufts University and a Bachelor of Music from the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. Oestreicher was absorbed in Eastern Chinese philosophy and immersed himself in meditation and yoga for four years.

“I really focused on finding a deeper understanding and meaning in life,” Oestreicher said.

Eventually he switched to a slightly more traditional way of life with his first musical concert – playing on cruise ships.

“It was a great way to travel and see the world,” he said.

After this stint, he returned to Fairfield to be with his family and began performing in local venues and making connections with emerging bands. Oestreicher eventually joined the band Chester French, who toured the country with Lady Gaga, Blink 182, Weezer, Fall Out Boy and Gym Class Heroes.

“In addition to playing an instrument for the artists I have worked with, I have always had several roles, whether producing, arranging, writing or contracting,” Oestreicher said. “Chester French was a very savvy band as they were one of the last bands to get a major recording deal and the very first group on Facebook.”

Chester French logged into Facebook because group members attended Harvard University with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, SHU said. The group often had people like Zuckerberg and other tech leaders in their social circle or on their tour bus.

“Participating and hearing conversations with these young visionaries showed me a different view of the world,” Oestreicher said. “These people had the desire to change the world, and they believed they could. I grew up thinking that I had to adapt to a certain role, and I met people and made friends who had a whole different belief system. It made me discover another level of opportunity.

In 2011, Oestreicher returned to Connecticut and was hired on the music team at the Apollo Theater in New York City. His work at the Apollo has led him to several television and Broadway productions as well as events such as the Mars Rover landing and the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony. He also created a production company.

“My affiliation with Apollo shaped my mission for the SHU Community Theater,” Oestreicher said. “The Apollo is such an inclusive place, and we want to bring that same feeling to the Community Theater.”

He said living in different places around the world, touring and meeting people with different life experiences has helped him transform into a citizen of the world.

“I want to bring the world to community theater and allow people in the community to experience things that they might not otherwise have the opportunity to see,” he said. “I want to create works that inspire and give young people a great experience. “

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About Shirley A. Tamayo

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