Follow The Yellow Note Road


Photo by Ali Elmalky

Sophomore Brett Shin takes time outside of class to practice his pit orchestra music in order to be prepared for the rehearsals.

Ali Elmalky, Staff Writer

“The Wizard of Oz” musical will showcase talents of the newly-formed pit orchestra that consists of instruments of all types, differing from last year’s pre-recorded music tracks.

“Pit orchestras are always an integral part of any musical performance,” visual and performing arts department chair Desmond Stevens said.  “We could have ordered the music pre-recorded, but we wanted to give our students here the opportunity to feel a full-scale musical.”

There will be more than 20 students playing in the pit orchestra, providing anything from background music to entire musical scores. The full orchestra has over an hour of music prepared so far, despite being understaffed with only 21 members.

“Usually there’s two or three people playing the clarinet part or the violin part, so for the most part everyone has had to be fiercely independent with their music,” Stevens said.

Having a live orchestra holds several benefits over simply playing a track during the production.

“One of the advantages is that the quality of sound is so much greater,” Stevens said. “With the live orchestra there’s a better sound. With a prerecorded track, it’ll never sound as live or full as the orchestra.”

Last year, all productions used pre-recorded music tracks, and “The Wizard of Oz” will be the first musical to use a live pit orchestra.

“I’m looking forward to performing in the pit orchestra because it gives me an opportunity to play music in an environment different than a concert or recital,” sophomore and clarinet musician Brett Shin said.

The musical will be a way for musicians to practice their improvisation, as live musicals can differ from their rehearsals, and during the production the directors may choose to change how songs are played.

“Practicing after school has been a great way for me to improve my playing and expand my musical library,” sophomore and trombonist Caleb Ong said. “Playing in the musical will be a chance for me to combine my performing talents with others.”

While the performance of the actors onstage can be entertaining, it is important to acknowledge the work the orchestra is putting in to provide a memorable experience.

“They put in just as much work as all of the actors onstage,” Stevens said. “We’d like people to share the congratulations and applause with the singers and actors on stage with the orchestra below.”