During this period, she collaborated with musicians from around the world and began writing for the stage, composing musicals and operas about the Harry Potter universe. These works were rehearsed entirely online and performed at fan conventions.
Lena holds a BM in Music Theory and a Piano Performance minor from Ithaca College. After graduating and living briefly in Portland, OR, and New York City, Lena became the resident composer and music director for “Stage Right,” a semi-professional theatre company and performing arts school outside of Pittsburgh, PA. During her two years in Pittsburgh, Lena music directed over 20 shows, taught numerous voice and theatre workshop classes, and was the composer for three original productions. “Tink,” for which Lena wrote the music and lyrics, was presented at the New York Musical Festival in 2016 and received a citation for excellence in family theatre.
Since returning to New York City in 2015, Lena has broadened her work as a music director, performer, and educator, and she has shifted her focus to collaborating and arrangement for new theatre. In the past two years, she has collaborated with over 10 writing teams to help bring their shows to life through new arrangements and orchestrations. Favorite NYC and regional credits include: “Emojiland” (The Duke - New York Times Critics Pick) the world premiere of “The Most Miserable Christmas Tree,” “Endangered: The Eco Musical” (Davenport Theatre), “You, Me, I, We” (Royal Family Productions), “The Full Monty” (Timber Lake Playhouse), and “Aida” (John W. Engeman Theatre at Northport). Lena is a former keyboardist and vocalist with the Grammy-winning children’s band “Tim Kubart and the Space Cadets,” and she served as vocal director of the Hewlett-Packard Holiday Commercial in 2019.
Lena is an amateur chef, exercise enthusiast, and a former world-ranked SET player. As a dedicated advocate for mental health awareness, she continues to develop her song cycle about living with and embracing mental illness. Lena currently lives in Astoria with two roommates.
Not to be confused with, and very much unlike The Emoji Movie, Emojiland is an electric ensemble piece about a diverse community of archetypes who take one another at face value: a smiling face dealing with depression; a princess who doesn't want a prince; a skull dying for deletion; a nerd face too smart for his own good; a face with sunglasses who can't see past his own reflection; and a police officer and construction worker who just want to work together. When a software update threatens to destroy life as they know it, Emojiland faces the most fundamental questions a society - and a heart - can face: Who are we? And who matters?
YOU, ME, I, WE is an exploration of the crazy and chaotic way our minds work - the voices that direct our everyday actions, the ones that knock us down with harsh thoughts and lift us back up with a song. It’s Hedwig and the Angry Inch meets Pixar’s Inside Out with a touch of Twyla Tharp Dance Theatre. Take a journey inside the beautifully turbulent mind of Yu-Mei Wei.
As a Christmas tree, Douglas Fir is the center of attention where he extols the joys of being decorated. Unfortunately, Douglas is soon stripped of adornment, thrown to the curb and left in a pile of trash. Determined to remain a decorated Christmas Tree, Douglas heads back home to Mistletoe Mountain and Miss Balsam's Finishing School for Christmas Trees to get the diploma he never received. Douglas only succeeds in becoming more miserable and turns his back on Christmas; until an important discovery allows him to understand his true purpose and the real meaning of the holiday season.
“Music Directing is a collaborative art. I love to work with creative team members (of course!) but most importantly I love to collaborate with actors. I truly believe that solos are actually duets between the actor and the MD, so I discuss each moment with the principle actors I work with so I can play with the same intention with which they are singing. Because I was a composer before I was an MD, I really dig into the compositional elements of a score; but I like to communicate things like tricky notes and rhythms in terms of an actors intention rather than music theory. Finally, I’m an expert at moving quickly through group rehearsals, both teaching the material and creating a positive and encouraging atmosphere for actors and singers of all levels.”
“I love to dig deep into a score to pick out the perfect instrumentation, and then write idiomatically for each instrument the composer and I choose. II am familiar with all traditional orchestral instruments, synthesizers and apple MainStage, and drum notation.”
Composition (Music & Lyrics)
“I pride myself in being able to write in many different styles for all types of projects. I have experience being a composer as well as a composer/lyricist. I love to collaborate with artists on projects that are important to them, and I use their passion to fuel my writing.”
- Copy Work
- Audition Prep
- Multi-instrumentalist (violin, guitar, ukulele, singer)