Where’s that music coming from?

An inside look at the pit orchestra


Annie Burdiak, Staff Writer

Every year as the spring musical rolls around, audiences pack the auditorium to see the highly anticipated new show.

Most of the viewers’ attention is likely on the actors and set, but they might also wonder what goes on in that dark hole in the stage?

It can be a bit jarring for both the audience and actors to have a gaping hole or pit in the middle of the stage; however, its presence is essential to the musical’s success.

Just six feet under the actors’ feet is an environment with a “combination of musical camaraderie and memes,” said senior member of pit orchestra Anna Aquino, a wild contrast to what lies above their heads.

While the actors rehearse, the pit orchestra is stationed in that dark hole below the stage, sitting through all dress rehearsals and performances, playing in the background.

For months before the musical, this informal, yet driven orchestra rehearses for hours with the intention of perfecting their music. However, sometimes they fall a bit short of perfect.

In fact, orchestra teacher and conductor Robert Bassill said the music they play during rehearsal is “getting better, but it’s still terrible.”

Perfecting the music is the most important part of pit orchestra, but socializing and enjoying the food come as a close second.

As the hungry and hardworking actors stand above, pit members snack on their growing abundance of chips and candy.

“We have a plethora of sweet treats,” said senior member Eleanor Colligan. The group often has buffets in between songs.

All jokes aside, it is evident that pit is the favorite way for members so spend their spring season. Aquino said it’s her “fondest memory of high school.”

“It has the sense and purpose of a club, but the closeness of a friend group,” she said.

During pit season, “I felt that specific joy you can only get from putting so many late nights into something and see it grown from the literal ground up,” said Aquino.

Bassill also agreed that it is an amazing feeling to hear the music come together as one unified show.

The balance between goofing off, musical talent and hard work is evidently the key factor that makes this orchestra so special to the members in the pit and those audience members lucky enough to witness it from the outside.