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Dan Glosser ’73: A Glittering Career in Showbiz

Arts and Media, Alumni


Dan Glosser
 

Published:

October 28, 2016
Tagged: Department of Theatre
 

Dan Glosser ’73: A Glittering Career in Showbiz

Arts and Media, Alumni


 

Member of Adelphi University’s Profiles in Success program.

Manager of Music Clearance, CBS Television Studios

Favorite Professor:  Cantor David Benedict

Advice for current students, or new graduates: “Don’t second guess yourself. Go with your feelings.”

Fondest Memory of Adelphi: “The constant encouragement to be my true self.” 

“I never made plans so I was never disappointed,” Dan Glosser ’73 said about his career and life. “I just let life happen. I show up every day prepared to learn and have fun with the most talented, diverse, experienced, fun-loving, caring, dysfunctional friends I’ve been blessed to have in my life.”

“But the key thing is to show up,” said Glosser, who over the course of his personal life and professional career, showed up often and enthusiastically to a glittering show business career, working with and befriending some of the biggest names in music and entertainment. 

Glosser, who grew up in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, discovered his love of music and entertainment at a young age. “I was inspired to play piano by watching Jo Ann Castle play ragtime piano on The Lawrence Welk Show. So I began taking piano lessons from Mrs. Kern in a church basement while I was in grade school,”  Glosser said, “My grandmother would encourage my love of music and theatre. When I would visit her in Brooklyn, she would take me to see the hit Broadway shows and always include a visit to Radio City Music Hall to see a first-run film and The Rockettes.”  Glosser continued to attend theater, concerts, opera and as many cultural events as he could while he was a student at Laurelcrest Preparatory School in Bristol, Connecticut. “I was very fortunate. The school provided outings to venues such as The Hartford Stage Company and The Bushnell Auditorium in Hartford, where I later performed as musical director for the national touring company of the original production of Chicago,” he said.

Despite his creative passions, Glosser entered Adelphi as a business major, with his parents placing him on the path to working in the family’s department store in Pennsylvania. “I originally chose Adelphi because it was a comfortable environment and it was intimate enough to meet people without feeling overwhelmed,” he said. “Thanks to having my picture and bio in the Adelphi University ‘Sidekick’ (The Freshman Directory), the very first day I was on campus, I was discovered by Robert Wynn Jackson ’70, director of the Adelphi Octet and became the associate conductor which gave me an immediate social outlet, new friends and I joined a fraternity.” 

“When I realized Adelphi had a music program, I switched majors,” Glosser recalled. During his time in the music program, he performed in numerous concerts and stage performances with the Music and Drama Departments. Along with the Adelphi Octet, he was a member of the Adelphi Glee Club directed by Professor Lawrence Rasmussen and he was the musical director for Dames At Sea directed by Joel Harvey at the Adelphi Little Theatre produced by Gold Mask and the Department of Speech and Dramatic Arts.  

Among Glosser’s favorite classes was Symphony and Wagner with Cantor David Benedict. “Cantor Benedict was a very talented and entertaining educator who presented the material in a fun and relatable manner. He brought the famous composers and musicians to life by discussing their personal lives and loves, and creating a terrific learning atmosphere,” Glosser said.

Glosser graduated from Adelphi in 1973 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Education. After a year of teaching kindergarten through third grade music in the Bellport Central School District on Long Island, he took a job as an office manager with the Rodgers and Hammerstein Musical Theater Licensing Office in Long Island City, NY. While with Rodgers and Hammerstein, Glosser became involved in local community theater and small stage productions.  “Whatever show I was offered, I took,” he said. “I learned that even the most humble situation can create amazing experiences and lifelong relationships.”

He quickly rose to being a professional pianist and musical director in regional theater, summer stock, dinner theater, Off-Broadway, and cabaret, with productions like Tintypes for the Actors Theatre of Louisville, the original national tour of Chicago, Irma La Douce starring legendary performer Juliet Prowse and the 1984 Los Angeles Company of 42nd Street. “42nd Street was the ultimate. It was all I ever wanted to do since I was a kid — to play piano in the pit of a big brassy Broadway show with tons of tap dancing,” said Glosser. A huge hit like 42nd Street attracted some of the biggest stars of Hollywood to the show and Glosser found himself meeting the likes of Cary Grant, Lucille Ball and Debbie Reynolds.

Soon after his 42nd Street  run concluded, Glosser was introduced to Onna White, the Oscar-winning choreographer, and Joan Rivers, both of whom became mentors and close friends. Glosser worked with Onna White on several stage projects and through the generosity of Joan Rivers, he landed the job of production assistant and music coordinator for The Late Show Starring Joan Rivers for The Fox Television Network.

Following The Late Show Starring Joan Rivers, Glosser expanded to the business end of the music industry, working in music clearance for Dick Clark Productions. He then became music supervisor for the pilot episode for The All-New Mickey Mouse Club on the Disney Channel in 1989, and music supervisor for the pilot of a new incarnation of Name That Tune starring Peter Allan for Orion Television. 

In April 1990, Glosser was hired by the Paramount Pictures Television Music Department and since that time has risen to the current position of manager of music clearance for CBS Television Distribution, working on the studio’s daily, syndicated television shows including The Arsenio Hall Show, Entertainment Tonight, The Insider, The Dr, Phil Show, The Doctors, Rachael Ray, Judge Judy, The Talk and many others.

In 1994, Paramount Television was purchased by Viacom and in 2000, Viacom bought CBS. Viacom then merged Paramount Television with CBS Productions creating CBS Television Studios. Although his employer has changed its corporate name several times, Glosser has remained there for the past 26 years and feels like his early experiences prepared him well. He said, “Once you’ve worked in theater, you can do anything else with great confidence.”

Published October 2016

 
Tagged: Department of Theatre
 
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