Pines People- David Baker.

 

David Baker and Sylvan Cole founded FIPAP (Fire Island Arts Project) over 25 years ago. Offering musical revues and shows which tapped into the wealth of artistic talent in the Pines community.

David Baker was a historic figure in the growth of the arts in the Pines. He was passionate about the Pines and what he could bring to the community through his gift of music in composing. Coming out to the Pines in the early seventies he started his career as a pianist for singer/ actress Judy Garland.  His 1st show as a writer was a revue starring Nancy Walker who was a lifelong friend and visitor to the Pines.  He worked as a composer, pianist, dance composer, and musical director for over 30 Broadway and off Broadway musicals. Revue was his favorite theatrical form.

 

 

 

He gave a great example of his taste when he wrote the book,music and lyrics for “Pine Needles” in 1981. It was presented by Laura Eastman for FIPPOA. It was a satire on life in the Pines. It included many community members such as John Whyte, Dorothy Levy and more. He went on to write and direct many productions for FIPAP.

          Pines Needles                                                                         Laura Eastman

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

He also served as musical director to Cherry Grove icon Bob (Rose) Levine.

 

 

 

 

His Theater credits:

Cabaret
[Musical, Drama, Revival]
Original Dance Music arranged by David Baker
Mar 19, 1998 – Jan 04, 2004
Cabaret
[Musical, Drama, Revival]
Original Dance Arrangements: David Baker
Oct 22, 1987 – Jun 04, 1988
The American Dance Machine
[Special, Dance, Original]
Associate Directed by David Baker
Dance arrangements by David Baker
Musical Director: David Baker
Jun 14, 1978 – Dec 03, 1978
Rex
[Musical, Original]
Dance arrangements by David Baker
Apr 25, 1976 – Jun 05, 1976
Come Summer
[Musical, Original]
Music by David Baker
Mar 18, 1969 – Mar 22, 1969
Cabaret
[Musical, Drama, Original]
Dance arrangements by David Baker
Nov 20, 1966 – Sep 06, 1969
The Yearling
[Musical, Original]
Dance Music by David Baker
Dec 10, 1965 – Dec 11, 1965
Flora, The Red Menace
[Musical, Original]
Dance arrangements by David Baker
May 11, 1965 – Jul 24, 1965
Do Re Mi
[Musical, Comedy, Original]
Dance arrangements by David Baker
Dec 26, 1960 – Jan 13, 1962
Vintage ’60
[Musical, Revue, Original]
Additional Material By: David Baker
Sep 12, 1960 – Sep 17, 1960
Copper and Brass
[Musical, Comedy, Original]
Music by David Baker
Oct 17, 1957 – Nov 16, 1957
Phoenix ’55
[Musical, Revue, Original]
Music by David Baker
May 23, 1955 – Jul 17, 1955
Two’s Company
[Musical, Revue, Original]
Ballet Music by David Baker
Assistant to Mr. Rosenstock: David Baker
Dec 15, 1952 – Mar 08, 1953
Of Thee I Sing
[Musical, Comedy, Revival]
Dance arrangements by David Baker
May 05, 1952 – Jul 05, 1952

 

David Baker, a pianist and composer of Broadway musical scores, died of lung cancer Saturday at his weekend home on Fire Island, according to a friend and associate, Sylvia Fine Kaye. He was 60 years old and lived in Manhattan.

Mr. Baker, a native of Portland, Me., wrote the music for ”Phoenix ’55,” a 1955 revue, and ”Copper and Brass,” a 1957 comedy written by Ira Wallach and starring Nancy Walker. He also composed the music for ”Smiling the Boy Fell Dead,” a 1961 musical starring Claiborne Cary; and the score for ”Come Summer,” a musical directed and choreographed by Agnes de Mille and starring Ray Bolger. ”Come Summer” was performed on Broadway in 1969.

Mr. Baker, who also worked as a voice coach, played the piano in a three-part public television series, ”Musical Comedy Tonight,” produced by Mrs. Kaye. The series was broadcast from 1979 to 1984.

”He was a marvelous pianist and composer,” Mrs. Kaye said yesterday. ”He was very courtly. If he liked you, he’d do anything for you.”

He is survived by a sister, Sally, of Portland.