From Settlement, to Broadway, and back to Settlement

Settlement student Gabby Greene

Settlement student Gabby Greene

Settlement student Gabby Greene has already had her first run on Broadway, even though she is still a teenager. The singer, who now studies with Jody Kidwell at Settlement’s Willow Grove Branch, joined the Broadway cast of School of Rock as first an Ensemble member and eventually in the role of Tomika.

Prior to Broadway, Gabby got her musical start at Settlement through piano lessons before joining the Gleeksman-Kohn Children’s Choir around the 6th grade. Led by Rae Ann Anderson, Settlement’s Children’s Choir instills the fundamentals of proper vocal technique, note reading, and sight-singing, all skills important to an aspiring musical theater performer. Gabby still remembers the Children’s Choir as where she learned to “pick up harmonies really quickly” and was “exposed to so many types of music.”

Gabby’s theater aspirations became reality after an important trip to Florida in 2016 to audition for talent agencies. Call back after call back led Gabby and her mom Carla to Little Angels Unlimited in New York City, and eventually an opportunity to audition for School of Rock.

Based on the hit 2003 movie starring Jack Black, School of Rock features a score by Andrew Lloyd Weber, lyrics by Glenn Slater, and a book by Julian Fellowes. The musical opened on Broadway in 2015, about two years before Gabby joined the cast, and received four Tony nominations. Since the story is set in a prestigious prep school, the cast includes a number of teen performers who play the students and members of character Dewey Finn’s band.

While performing, Gabby had to work hard to ensure she was taking adequate care of her voice between. Wary of proper vocal technique, Gabby’s mom Carla sought help and mentorship for Gabby from some of the older cast members until she eventually grew out of the role in 2018.

Now back in Pennsylvania, Gabby is excited to get back into the swing of both school and her lessons with Jody Kidwell at Settlement. She is looking forward to being invited back to a 76ers game to sing the national anthem, something she already has experience with both here and in Madison Square Garden, as well as keeping her eye open for that next big audition.