There are many components to a play, including the hidden Pit Orchestra in front of the stage.
The lights grow dark and music floats through the air. Actors dance and twirl on stage. Singing rises over the audience, telling a story. Music dances playfully between scenes. But where does the music come from? That’s where the Pit Orchestra comes in.
The theatre department has a live orchestra instead of a soundtrack. The Pit Orchestra isn’t just string instruments, either. “It’s a combination of the band and orchestra students,” said Kendra Cragun, member of the Pit Orchestra.
There are multiple advantages to having live musicians.
“We can vamp [repeat] or cut pieces as needed, or change the tempo,” said Shannon Lynch, a musician for the Pit Orchestra.
“We can adjust to the actors’ mood.”
However, there are certain risks involved in having a live orchestra. Musicians can make mistakes or lose their place. To compensate for that, the students work incredibly hard.
“We rehearse every day after school,” said Cragun.
Though they aren’t on stage, the Pit Orchestra is made up of stars. “We just add the little sprinkles on top that make it magical,” said Cragun.