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Disney’s "The Lion King" Gets Help from CRC Music Professor Omari Tau

November 17, 2022

CRC Music Professor Omari Tau CRC Music Professor Omari Tau.

Disney’s The Lion King celebrated its 25th Anniversary on Broadway Sunday, November 13, 2022 with a special performance of the show, and CRC Professor of Vocal Music, Omari Tau was commissioned to create a new musical arrangement of the song “The Circle of Life” for the occasion.

Led by alumni cast members Jelani Remy (Simba) and Kissy Simmons (Nala), the surprise “3rd Act” performance featured over 50 former cubs (Young Simbas and Young Nalas) from 1997 to the present, marking the show’s incredible reach and undeniable impact.

The piece was directed by L. Steven Taylor, Broadway’s current Mufasa who also wrote spoken word poetry to be recited by the cubs over Tau’s music. The arrangement was performed by The Lion King orchestra and conducted by Karl Jurman who has led the show since its debut in 1997.

The special performance played to a packed house filled with many of the original creatives including director Julie Taymor, lyricist Tim Rice, choreographer Garth Fagan, writers Irene Mecchi and Jonathan Roberts, Disney on Broadway producer Thomas Schumacher, and various original company members.

A former cast member of the show himself, Professor Tau is particularly proud to have worked with other Sacramento-based musicians to create a supporting vocal track that was featured in the performance. This included local independent artists and CRC music students Brianna Brock, Grace Clark, and Jianna Eugenio.

The piece was met with a standing ovation and can be heard on various social media platforms including YouTube.