Pit Orchestra (1-3 per semester/maximum of 3) Rehearsal and performance of contemporary and historical musical theatre styles, including operetta and light opera.
THEA 080 Pit Orchestra (1-3 per semester/maximum of 3)
(BA) This course meets the Bachelor of Arts degree requirements.
THEA 080 provides an introduction to the particular demands of the orchestral pit player, with an emphasis on the musical theater repertoire. The course objectives is to prepare the student for a professional theatre engagement. This course parallels the orchestra ensembles in the School of Music (Philharmonia, Chamber Orchestra) but with the added techniques of theatre orchestra: standard vamps, "vocal last time" vamps, fade on cue, cut on cue, etc. Grades are determined by (1) level of performance and improvement, and (2) attendance at all rehearsals, sectionals and performances. The special facilities for this course will include orchestral rehearsal space in the School of Music, as well as the Pit/Performance space in the School of Theatre.
Enrollment will vary depending on the needs of individual musical scores; however, the performance schedule is such that an ensemble large enough to accommodate both players and substitutes is desirable. This is a repeatable course. Students will comprise the orchestra for a School of Theatre's production each semester. An audition is required for admission to this course. Emphasis will be placed on precision ensemble playing, as well as the skill of playing together as a section while simultaneously following the conductor. Because of the highly technical nature of theatrical productions, there are frequent cues given by the conductor which are vitally important to the performance. Mastering the specialized skill of splitting one's attention evenly between the music stand and the podium will be a major objective of this course. In the process of preparing the music for each production other skills will be taught and acquired, such as: learning when to accompany and when to play in a solo manner; when to follow and when to lead as a section player; for brass players, developing the "Broadway" sound: big , bright, and focused; for reed doublers, the techniques involved in performing on multiple instruments in a single number; for all musicians, familiarity with the plethora of styles now being performed on Broadway: traditional Broadway, pop, rock, and the more classical styles of some of the contemporary theatre composers.
Note : Class size, frequency of offering, and evaluation methods will vary by location and instructor. For these details check the specific course syllabus.