Alvin Hough, Jr. (RBS ’02) is a proud pianist, conductor and music director and has been an orchestra member in more than a dozen Broadway pits. Originally from right here in Washington, DC, Alvin accidentally started playing piano on Halloween when he was 5 years old. He was playfully tickling the ivories with several of his friends after school one day and when his mother came to pick him up, the teacher said that “Alvin wasn’t banging on the piano like all the other kids. He seemed to be trying to do something. Get the kid some lessons and see what happens.” It goes without saying that Alvin is grateful for two things that day: that this particular teacher saw something worth mentioning to his mom and that his mom listened to her.
Classically trained by a private teacher, Alvin was thrown a curveball by Mrs. McCray when he became a teenager. She naturally wasn’t this blunt to a 13-year-old, but she essentially told him that “if he ever wanted to make money in music, he wasn’t going to do it by only being able to play Bach.” She got him involved at his church, where he developed a gospel touch, and at a summer theatre camp, where he was introduced to many other new genres, including rock. Alvin has since taken those skills and transformed them into a career that has catapulted him from performances at the Kennedy Center, Capitol and White House to those of concert halls and Broadway stages in New York and beyond.
Alvin’s first NYC break came by landing a national tour of the revival of Dreamgirls in the fall of 2009 as its first keyboardist. Two years later, he music directed and conducted the first national tour of Memphis before returning to the city to be the Assistant Conductor at Motown in 2013, the Associate Conductor for the 2016 Tony Award-winning revival of The Color Purple and the Music Director of the 2018 Tony Award-winning revival of Once On This Island. He is beyond pleased to receive the 2nd annual Christopher A. Pilaro Award for the Arts.