Alumni Spotlight: Caitlin Morgan

We recently sat down with musical director Caitlin Morgan to discuss her training at Mountview and transition into the industry. Caitlin graduated from our MA in Musical Direction in 2021 and is currently working as Associate MD on the West End and UK tour of Six the Musical. She has previously worked as a music assistant/copyist on Tina: The Tina Turner Musical and The Witches of Eastwick in Concert at the Sondheim Theatre.

Where did your passion for musical direction come from, and why did you choose Mountview?

Caitlin Morgan (photo credit: Gabe Hampton-Saint)

My passion for musical direction was formed from my love of musical theatre. I grew up loving musical theatre, but I didn’t have the desire to perform. I was brought up playing the piano. When I went to university, I found myself combining my piano playing, musical background and making lots of friends with performers and realising that there was a link there. I fell into it by accident, playing piano for shows and doing lots of MDing while I was doing my undergraduate course. I got to the end of my undergrad and I was like, “well what now?” A really good mentor of mine asked if I ever considered MDing professionally. I honestly never did consider it because it was just something that I did for fun. But he encouraged me to apply. I got the [Mountview] interview and came down. The excitement of coming down to London, seeing a show and the whole London vibe (I’m from Scotland so it’s not a place or scene that I find myself in very much), being in the new Mountview building for the interview and being able to see and hear everything that was going on – It was like being at a Fame school! I thought that I absolutely have to come here and do this. I was lucky enough to get in, and it was just a no brainer: this hub of activity in London and Mountview offering a course which was exactly what I was doing for fun, then knowing that I could take it to a professional level.

What are your highlights from your time at Mountview?

The main bonus about being at Mountview is the other students. For the MD course, a lot of our training is working with Musical Theatre students, participating in their classes, playing for them, or even coaching them and having that involvement. I feel very blessed for working with such lovely and talented students. That would be my overall highlight, the collaboration. Also working with the other departments, when putting on productions, having the direction cohort or even the stage managers and getting to experience a realistic version of putting on a show with your peers is quite special.

“I feel very blessed for working with such lovely and talented students. That would be my overall highlight, the collaboration.”

A huge asset of my time at Mountview was being on my course with the people that I was with. We helped to shape and teach each other. Everyone came in with slightly different experiences and a different skill set, and because there were six of us, we worked together so closely and would really advise each other and support one another. That was hugely important and I learnt a lot because of that.

How have you found the transition from training to going into the industry?

I’ve found it OK, it didn’t feel too daunting. I think that’s due to Mountview and also my time so far at Six. Mountview prepared me, it gave me a good steppingstone. Had I gone straight from university into my job at Six, it would have been a huge gap. Being at Mountview has taught me things that I had no awareness of like who plays what role within a production company or a show, who reports to who and who is responsible for who, also show reports. Even things like call times, etiquette – they seem like silly things as I don’t know any differently now, but trying to put myself in the mindset of two to three years ago, I didn’t know that stuff. But also, Six is a very welcoming company. So, whatever I wasn’t prepared for already, I’ve then learnt from being at Six.

How did you feel when you found out about getting the job on the Six Tour?

I finished Mountview in July, and around about May, I did an audition tape for Six. I didn’t get it. But I got a really nice email from a supervisor, saying that they were glad that I applied and that they would keep me in mind for future things. It so happened that the supervisor had worked on a project at Mountview, which I assisted him on, so I was fortunate to have worked with him. He was a huge help to me at Mountview as he brought on my self-confidence, in terms of leading a room and playing. September of the same year, I got a part-time job as a music assistant in a school, while I kept trying for MD jobs. On my second day at this new school, I didn’t have my phone on while teaching and had a few missed calls from an unknown number. I called the number, and it was the supervisor from Six offering me the job, because a position for me had opened up, which was the associate position on the tour. It was completely out of the blue, as it was four to five months after I applied. I called my mum for advice, and she said that this was a no brainer and that I need to take this opportunity. When I told my new job that I wouldn’t be coming back, they were actually really lovely about it and understood. Then from September 2022, I started working as the full time MD for Six, after a year of working in the show.

How has your experience been so far on Six?

It’s been amazing. I can’t imagine working on a show that’s more joyful and celebrates everything that should be celebrated in musical theatre. The show has a strong message which resonates with everyone that works on it. It’s also just a really special team to be a part of. The opportunities it’s brought me have been amazing. To have played on the West End was a life goal for me and I’ve done that!

Caitlin is currently working as Associate MD on Six the Musical (West End and UK tour)

“I can’t imagine working on a show that’s more joyful and celebrates everything that should be celebrated in musical theatre.”

Touring the country has been amazing. I’ve seen some amazing places and played in some beautiful theatres, so I’m very grateful for the career trajectory that it’s set me on. It’s been lovely talking about everything so far as it can be really easy to take things for granted in what you’re doing. Or sometimes when you have more difficult days. But now, sitting and thinking back to when I first got the job and how it’s all gone does make me feel a new sense of gratitude and appreciation for what I do.

What advice would you give to people applying to Mountview for the MD course?

I’d say go for it! Doing a masters, especially when it’s as specific as musical direction, you have to know what you want out of it. What you put in, is what you get out. I think going to somewhere like Mountview gives you so many opportunities to take, it’s up to you to take them and make the most of the people and the facilities around you. You need to give it one hundred and ten percent. In my opinion, being in London and experiencing as much music and theatre is invaluable.

What is next for you?

I will be with Six for a while longer and we have some cool stuff coming up next year – so keep an eye out! I’ve also been lucky to do some workshops with new material, which has been a newfound love. Some of that might come into fruition , but it’s been so much fun to work on projects that have started from nothing. So fingers crossed, as that’s something I would like to pursue more of in the future. I’m also very open to whatever is thrown at me, I would still like to figure out what else I enjoy. I’ve loved Six so far, but of course there will be more shows out there that I will really enjoy, and that’s the fun of it all.