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Trumpet Discussion Discuss Orchestra experience for Musicals. in the General forums; I got volunteered into playing a musical recently and playing 1st trumpet for it. I was a little surprised after ...
  1. #1
    Piano User
    Join Date
    Dec 2009

    Orchestra experience for Musicals.

    I got volunteered into playing a musical recently and playing 1st trumpet for it. I was a little surprised after the fact the amount of time committment for playing and the fact that we have 3 weekends of shows Fri/Sat/Sun. (Plus several practice sessions before hand which some times equated to a 4 hour practice to sync up with the actors.)

    Interestingly enough it started off where the piano player was going to queue us in and not really have a director at first and then someone that was more of a choral non-band background is now directing us.

    Needless to say there are a number of things that seem a bit unorganized and also learning about what equipment I have to supply myself among other things.

    I presume you take what you get with a community theater / musical where you are playing for 'mostly' fun and not for pay or minimal pay.

    Anyway I am curious as to what others have experienced with musicals.
    Bach Stradivarius 180S37
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  2. #2
    Moderator Utimate User Vulgano Brother's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Parts Unknown

    Re: Orchestra experience for Musicals.

    A really useful and stable trumpet stand can come in handy--like really handy. Depending on the show, there is a huge amount of down time, even if it is Chorus Line with some great looking women on stage. The Prop Room usually has interesting books, and scoping the cute oboist is usually worth the time. Mostly, we get paid for not playing.

    Have fun!
    cornetguy likes this.
    "A tool good enough to be so used and not too good"
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  3. #3
    Forte User richtom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003

    Re: Orchestra experience for Musicals.

    I've done dozens. Every show is going to be different. A good matinee can turn into an evening performance of problems. Depending on the skill level of your performers both on the stage and in the pits, disasters are just around every corner. Singers drop lines in a song, forget to come in, dialogue messes up timing, the conductor loses concentration (not the ones I've performed with, anyway), tempos can change drasically, and you yourself get lost or forget exactly where you are.
    Be prepared to mark cuts in your parts - in pencil if they are rental parts.
    Be thankful you are not a reed player doubling on different instruments and be doubly thankful you are not directing the group while playing keyboard! The folks on stage have to act, sing, speak, and occasionally deal with a non-functioning prop or lighting issue that is out of their control. Being on stage may be the most difficult thing of all.
    They are fun. Enjoy it and always be ready for anything.
    cornetguy likes this.

  4. #4
    Forte User Bob Grier's Avatar
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    May 2007
    Greensboro, NC

    Re: Orchestra experience for Musicals.

    In amature shows you can have your time wasted as you sit there waiting for them to do "staging that should have been done before the musicians are brought in. This is because you arer working without a clear contract. It should state how much you are paid per service and how long each service should be. If they go over that time you are paid more.

    In a professional show they know that time is money. They don't bring in the musicians until all the staging, line and problems have been worked out. And they run on time.
    cornetguy likes this.
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