"I have a lot of different interests. Technology has always been one of them," Hahn said at a recent interview in midtown Manhattan. "I love my job on Broadway, but I also like building websites and, now, developing apps."
His first app, named WinterSpark, is a yule log app that features video of a fireplace and plays holiday music in the background.
Download link: itunes.apple.com/us/app/winterspark/id467030149
"That's my Christmas album in the background. Before WinterSpark I don't think many people had heard the album – but the app has given the music a great platform for distribution. I've gotten a lot of great comments."
Hahn has performed in three Broadway shows this year – conducting at "Priscilla Queen of the Desert" and playing keyboards at "Sister Act." This winter, Hahn will serve as the Associate Conductor and pianist for the Harry Connick, Jr.-led revival of "On a Clear Day You Can See Forever."
"It's a huge honor to play for Harry. He was my hero when I was a kid," Hahn said.
In an industry characterized by specialization, Hahn is the exception. In 2001, while studying music composition at Indiana University, Hahn began building HTML websites in his spare time. Since then, he's followed two career paths in tandem – one as a musical theatre conductor and one as an internet professional.
In 2008, Hahn built the career website MusicianWages.com with guitarist Cameron Mizell. Three years later, the site brings in over 70,000 visitors every month.
"MusicianWages has definitely been a success story for us. We wanted to create the website that would help musicians transition from the music industry of the 20th century to the music industry of the 21st century. It's been fun to see the idea grow into a community," Hahn says.
With the release of WinterSpark in October, Hahn has moved into mobile app development.
The reviews for WinterSpark are compelling. "This will be the hit of the holiday season," says one. Another user writes, "I think this is great – the modern yule log!"
Yet, it's not all smooth sailing in app development. Soon after launch, WinterSpark users began complaining of freezing videos and buggy AirPlay compatibility. Hahn admitted that there has been some surprises, but that he has addressed the issues.
"I contacted my development team right away and we sent out an update a few days later," Hahn said. "If other issues crop up we'll do the same – I think the key to app development is creating a superior product and responding to user's feedback."
Next on Hahn's list is a financial and productivity app for freelancers he's calling "Edna" – named after his Grandmother, who had a talent for organization. The app, currently in development, is due out in early 2012.
"I want to make Edna the best personal assistant app for freelancers. I think she'll help a lot of people."
But tonight it's back to Broadway for an 8pm performance of On a Clear Day. As Hahn leaves he checks his iPhone.
"I need to get there a little early today and warm up," Hahn says, wiggling his fingers over an imaginary piano. "I spent the whole morning on my computer."
More information: www.wintersparkapp.com
David J. Hahn
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