I’ve always thought it would be cool to play in an orchestra pit. This week, I’ve been helping with the music for the play, Hello, Dolly! It has been a very interesting project. I’ve only done one other similar production before, and that was about 5 years ago! (That one was a lot easier, too.)
I met our director about a month prior to the play and he gave me two thick books full of music: one for the songs that Dolly was to sing, and the other for accompaniments that didn’t include her. In order to stay nice and organized, I copied all of the music I would need and placed it in a 3-ring binder. I was really surprised by how much sheet music it was! I don’t think I’ve ever played a performance with this many pages of sheet music before.
This was the first time that I got to play in a real orchestra pit. It’s kinda cool. Unlike some orchestra pits, we’re actually completely under the stage and the audience can’t see us. The awesome thing about that is that I don’t have to dress up for the performances! (Not like I would wear sweat pants anyway, but I don’t like black very much.) We have to walk down some concrete steps to get down there, where feels a tiny bit like walking into a dungeon (I think!). But it’s actually quite nice down there, and I’m friends with several of the musicians I’m playing with.
In order to follow what the actors are doing onstage (so that we can come in with the music at the right time), we have a couple computer monitors and some speakers in front of us that show us what’s happening in the play. Here’s a picture of a couple of us playing in the pit during a rehearsal. If you’re wondering why I’m wearing black, it’s just because they warned us they might take our picture that evening!
And this is us with the cast!!! They did a great job! (The musicians are on the left, wearing modern/casual clothes.)
This was a very fun experience for me! While I certainly don’t plan to go into theater and performance isn’t my favorite thing in the world, I enjoy the variety and this was a very interesting gig!