‘Anything Goes’ Pit Orchestra Prepares for Opening Weekend

Jessica Fosse, Life Editor

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In a carved out crevasse underneath the auditorium stage, a pit orchestra accumulates a melody to accompany the spring musical. And here is where several EHS musicians find themselves everyday during the infamous “hell week.”

Drama Club’s spring musical is joined by live music each year with new members joining the pit based on needs of instruments. “Anything Goes” needs 24 pit members including conductor Cathy Vano.

Junior Nathan Greenland plays the saxophone for this show and also for the 2017 musical “Crazy for You.” Last year’s musical “Mary Poppins” didn’t call for saxophone players.

Greenland loves pit for using his free-time doing something he loves with people who also enjoy the work.

“Pit is usually very calm compared to other activities at the school, so the ruckus is most often kept to a minimum,” Greenland said. “We did discover, however, that trumpet mutes make great hats.”

Rehearsals began in January and sped up in pace as it draws closer to the show. Practices are held in the later evening, and on some days where there is no school.

“In the two weeks before the stress level was around an eight (on a one to 10 scale) as we are in the midst of our ‘hell weeks,’” Greenland said. “The music this year is easier than most other years and our director is very understanding, so I would say it’s more fun than stressful.”

Pit performers play throughout the weekend without being able to see the show. But according to Lexie Allen, the pit orchestra gets to see a dry runthrough.

“They put on a show so we could know what is happening on stage,” Allen said. “I think the music is a lot more fun to play this year. Other than that it’s a bit hard to tell what’s different when you’re beneath the stage.”

Junior and flutist Colleen McCracken is enthusiastic about being a part in the drama club.

“I love to play show tunes and be involved in the spring musical production,” McCracken said. “It also gives me the opportunity to play types of music that I normally would not. I play lots of repertoire in other groups, but none give an experience like pit orchestra.”

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