Musical season is in full swing. Performers are working tirelessly everyday getting into character, learning lyrics and familiarizing themselves with dance routines. However, with all the preparation for action onstage, it’s easy to forget what’s going on behind the curtains. An integral component of HHS musicals, the pit orchestra provides live accompaniment for singers. Our student musicians practice their arrangements to the point where they can be executed flawlessly, emulating recorded music.
“The score is jazz-based. Think swing and Dixieland,” senior Christina Sellers said. Sellers is playing bass clarinet and clarinet.
So far, pit members have had practices twice a week for two hours each. Once musical season reaches its fever pitch, the orchestra will attend lengthier practices every day alongside members of the cast.
“[But] the actors on stage have a substantially larger time commitment than us,” Sellers said. “Mr. Snow and Laura Ruple encouraged me to do pit this year. There are about 25 people in the orchestra, a dozen HHS students and some hired JMU musicians.”
Ava Reynolds, a trombonist, is doing pit for the first time as a freshman.
“I wanted to be involved in the musical, but I’m not the greatest at singing or being on stage,” Reynolds said about her reasoning for participating in the orchestra.
Unlike previous years, the pit is stationed backstage behind the curtains. For this reason, dress attire for the musicians will be more lax than the typical black formal wear.
“I heard there were going to be Spirit Days, where we can wear our pajamas and stuff to the event,” Reynolds said. “[It’s] going to be fun.”