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Post your pit setups

#41
I always like seeing people's pit setups here. This summer I played for my community theatre production of the Wizard of Oz (clarinet/bass clarinet/baritone sax). Now thinking about it I should've taken a picture of my setup and posted it on here! Maybe next summer if I'm able to play in pit for the summer musical. Otherwise, love this thread!
 

tictactux

Distinguished Member
Distinguished Member
#43
I've been asked to sub on bass clarinet for a befriended concert band's winter concert as well as for a competition next year.

I realize that's no "pit work" in the stricter sense, but probably as close as I ever get as a non-pro. (we do have stage lamps, though)

I'll post a pic of the concert if anyone's interested. :)
 

Groovekiller

Distinguished Member
Distinguished Member
#44
I'm playing a Christmas pageant with a cast of thousands, or almost. Instrumentation for me is unusually simple - Clarinet, and baritone saxophone. The clarinet parts are vicious, but i've played some of them in years past. The baritone parts are typical contemporary Christian music (think funky). Overall, it's not too stressful, even on days with 2 shows, and the orchestra is good. The show itself is awesome, and I almost never use that term. The choreographers are brilliant, the organization is world-class, and the talent is excellent. You can see last year's pageant on Christmas eve. It's broadcast all over the world.
 
#46
This is my current pit set up for City of Angels that I'm playing Reed 2(piccolo, flute, clarinet and alto saxophone) for. I also used my soprano saxophone for some tough clarinet licks, as well.
060413181702(1).jpg
 
#47
I'll be playing at my local theater again this summer. I'll be playing for 9 to 5 on Reed 2 (Flute/clarinet/bass clarinet/tenor and bari sax). The book is clarinet/tenor/bari heavy with bass clarinet and flute parts few and far in between. I'll be playing the bass clarinet and flute parts on my clarinet. I'll also be posting a pic of my setup as well (and maybe get on to learning flute)
 
#48
I just got a call to play reed 3 (flute, clarinet, bass clarinet, baritone saxophone, bassoon) for a production of Young Frankenstein, so I'll post a picture of my setup for that in the pit when that starts.

There are only eight and a half bars of flute, and we cut that part of the song flute gets used in, and I don't have a bassoon anymore, so I've been able to cut my call of horns down to just clarinet, bass clarinet, and baritone saxophone (the bassoon parts are double staved for bass clarinet, and goes down to low C on bass clarinet, so hopefully I'll be able to afford to purchase myself a decent low C bass before the show opens) for now. I might borrow my friend's extra bassoon for the show, too, as I don't own one anymore. It's really a well written book, and I've enjoyed the past few rehearsals that we've had for it so far.
 
#49
This was my Legally Blonde pit setup when my high school did it back in April (I was on Keyboard 2). I actually started a thread on this site awhile back when I complained that I didn't get one of the reed parts. And to be honest, I wasn't satisfied with the outcome. The show wasn't very good. Poor direction and a band teacher (the conductor for this musical) who kept beating herself by saying she was the lazy peon of the bunch were the main factors. The actors on stage weren't better either. Most either weren't confident of themselves or just awkward. On a final note, our pit consisted of 3 keyboards, bass, drums, and guitar/violin. "Keyboard 1" was played by the conductor and used the piano/vocal score (?), and me and this freshman girl played Keyboards 2 and 3 respectively. The girl played so soft or not at all, and sometimes I even forgot she was even in the pit with us! Well, I've rambled and ranted long enough. To make a long story short, Legally Blonde was terrible and better direction and confidence would've really helped the project succeed.
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SOTSDO

Old King Log
Staff member
CE/Moderator
#50
Unsure performance is often an issue with high school and college player, those who are unsure of what they are doing, and who retract back "into their shell" as a result. Timidity is nothing new, and everyone has experienced it at one point or another.

We saw a performance of Threepenny Opera at Northwest Florida State University (or whatever they call it these days) where the pit had been filled with the proper instrumentation, but where the keyboards, trombone and drums were the only "sure" players. Extreme balance problems, and the conductor was so busy minding his new (and showy) keyboard "dude" that he paid little or no attention to anything else. But, what are you going to do?

(They also had a leggy blonde babe filling the part of the Streetsinger. Very attractive, had all the right movements for being on stage, but who couldn't sing a lick. I imagine that she was someone's secret student girlfriend - there were no other reasons for her being there other than for her looks.)

A couple of years ago, we saw a production of Chicago where the Reed 3 babe (also an attractive woman, right up there on stage) completely blew both of the baritone solos and much of the bass clarinet work. This one particularly pissed me off, as I had aced the parts as a young twenty-something when the original Broadway touring company had come through Saint Louis, and I pretty much sight read the whole book.

(But, the worst thing is that she is apparently a pet of the conductor (also a woman), as we have seen her in a couple of other productions (where she did better). It's all I can do not to volunteer that I would bring my horns along and play in their pit for free (the Pensacola Little Theater Company probably could use the financial help).

When I play alongside student performers, I try to urge them to play out (the biggest problem) and to hit as many of the notes as they can. Playing through performance anxiety is something that will come in time; practice makes perfect (or nearly so).
 
#51
When I play alongside student performers, I try to urge them to play out (the biggest problem) and to hit as many of the notes as they can. Playing through performance anxiety is something that will come in time; practice makes perfect (or nearly so).
If I ever get to have the chance of being musical director for a high school or college, I will always promote to the musicians the idea of not only blending in to sound as one, but to play out if 1) i ask them to or 2) the music says so. Even if they aren't seen, they're at least heard; I'll have some more power and control with the show, too. Another thing that appalled me was that our conductor for the same musical told the keyboard 3 player that if something was too hard she didn't have to play it. It goes back to playing out.
 
#52
My pit setup for 9 to 5. I am on Reed 2 for this production (flute/clarinet/bass clarinet/tenor/bari). The book is clarinet/tenor/bari heavy and quite light on the flute/bass clarinet. I am covering the flute and bass clarinet parts on my clarinet (which is almost visible in the picture). I've also learned that sometimes covering bass clarinet on a soprano clarinet is a big no-no, but it is too far into rehearsals to change now. But next time I will (hopefully) use a bass clarinet for pit when a woodwind part calls for one.
IMG_20130628_163129.jpg
 

Merlin

Content Expert/Moderator
Staff member
CE/Moderator
#53
Here's my pit setup for Anything Goes. This is the Tony-winning Roundabout Theatre production which is on tour at the moment. Toronto has the show for a month (we close Aug. 18th.)

L-R: Linton English Horn, Renard 330 oboe, Jupiter Parisienne Clarinet, Jupiter Artist Tenor.

I'm using Stuart Dunkel EH reeds, my own oboe reeds, Walter Grabner K13* m/p w/Vandoren V12 #3.5 reeds, Vandoren V16 T7 m/p w/#3 V16 reeds.


Untitled by Merlin Williams, on Flickr
 

Merlin

Content Expert/Moderator
Staff member
CE/Moderator
#59
Gold and shiny saxes galore. Glistening in the light. I also just noticed that the woodwind setup is setup like a jazz band. Well, sort of. And where was the orchestra?
It was a big vee setup. Big band on stage left, expanded rhythm section centre stage, and the strings were stage right.
 

SOTSDO

Old King Log
Staff member
CE/Moderator
#60
I use the same setup occasionally (when staging room dictates something other than the lopsided rectangular one that is the norm), except I use it to partially escape from the racket that comes out of the brass. That separation and angling make all the difference in the world, and they also focus the attention of the audience on the vocalists, who work (for the most part) out of the center of the "vee'.
 
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