Will Roland: A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square
Will Roland is an American actor and singer, best known for originating the role of Jared Kleinman in the Broadway musical "Dear Evan Hansen", for which he received a Grammy Award and Daytime Emmy Award. On film, he is known for his role in the drama film "One Penny". Most recently, he played the lead role of Jeremy Heere in the musical "Be More Chill" both Off-Broadway and on Broadway.
In 2021, Roland played the role of Zeke Matthews in the studio cast recording of "Goosebumps The Musical: Phantom of the Auditorium". He starred alongside Krystina Alabado and Noah Galvin. Outside of theater, Roland has appeared in the series "Billions" (Showtime), "Red Oaks" (Amazon Prime Video), "The Mysteries of Laura" (NBC), and "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt" (Netflix).
On June 26, 2017, Broadway Sings for Pride premiered its 7th anniversary benefit concert "Unstoppable" in New York City, at Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan. This milestone event was filled with singing (from pop to Broadway), stories, special celebrity guests, and more. Proceeds of the event were donated to Tyler Clementi Foundation and Orlando's Contigo Fund. Broadway Sings for Pride is a multiple award-winning, non-for-profit organization that brings together Broadway talent, activists, and celebrities, to educate the public, raise awareness of the needs of LGBTQ+ youth, and support these young people.
Roland performed the song "A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square" during the event, where Shefik served as Videographer. "A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square" is a British romantic popular song written in 1939 and published in 1940, with lyrics by Eric Maschwitz and music by Manning Sherwin.
Berkeley Square is a large leafy square in Mayfair, a part of London. The Ritz Hotel referred to is just outside Mayfair, adjacent to Green Park.
The nightingale, a migrant songbird, is celebrated in literature and music for the beauty of its song. It favors rural habitats, and is unlikely to be heard in Central London.
The song was written in the-then small French fishing village of Le Lavandou — now a favorite resort for British holiday-makers and second-home owners — shortly before the outbreak of World War II. It is typically sung in the key of D-flat major by male vocalists, such as Nat King Cole and Frank Sinatra.
Last Updated: October 2, 2022