Sounds of Success

How does a Tony sound? Pretty good to Brian Ronan ’84, who earned his first for the Broadway hit “The Book of Mormon” in the “Best Sound Design in a Musical” category at the Tony Awards in June.

Brian Ronan ’84 with his award for “Best Sound Design in a Musical” at the Tony Awards in June. He won for “The Book of Mormon” and was also nominated for “Anything Goes” in the same category.

“The Tony for sound design is relatively new and it’s a real honor to be singled out among so many talented designers,” he said. “In my formative years following my time at Oswego, I was inspired by many great designers prior to Tony eligibility, one of whom is Oswego graduate Tom Morse ’74. [He] is one of the designers who really pulled Broadway sound into the 21st century.”

Some of Ronan’s most valuable collegiate experience came from his time with Campus Lighting, an independent, student-run entity that gave him a feel for the business side of performance. He then made some of his first Broadway connections as an intern at Masque Sound.

“I think every show has a voice of its own,” Ronan said previously, “Part of my job is to find that sound and bring it forward to the audience.”

Ronan considers a Broadway house “just an empty room” until sound and light crews enhance it. He and his crew set up the sound and communications systems for each performance: everything from the mixing board to the backstage headsets.

Current projects include “Anything Goes” on Broadway and “Rent” off-Broadway as well as “American Idiot” and “Bring It On,” both touring nationally. He is also working on “Nice Work if You Can Get It,” starring Matthew Broderick and a musical adaption of the novel Giant.

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