From majoring in math to working on Broadway, Ball State University theatre professor Michael Rafter shares his journeyBy
Five children in a high stakes battle. Who can play piano the best and win the cookie? When Michael Rafter is your brother, there is no chance. The Emmy-award winning conductor and professor at Ball State University discovered his musical talent through an at-home piano playing competition. Rafter’s older sister would babysit and teach her five other siblings something on the piano, and whoever could play it best would win a sweet prize. “I always won the cookie,” he said, “but my brothers beat me up and ate the cookie.” Though the rest of his brothers were athletic and could pick up a football and throw a “perfect spiral,” the keyboard is what made sense to Rafter. He won the cookie for a reason. Today, Rafter is the musical director for the Broadway revival of “Funny Girl” starring Lea Michelle.