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Pit band begins rehearsals for musical ‘Anything Goes’

Clara Martinez
The pit band rehearses the big musical numbers in the first act of “Anything Goes” in MPR2 Oct. 20. The band was preparing for the “sitzprobe” Oct. 25 where they will play with the singers for the first time.

Musicians playing in the pit band for this year’s fall musical “Anything Goes” had their first rehearsal Oct. 11, and are preparing for their first rehearsal with the singers Oct. 20, known as a “sitzprobe.” There are 13 band members who rehearse around three times every week after school in MPR2 or the School Center.

Head of Performing Arts Carolyn Stock-Chapin said she selects which students will perform in the pit based on the requirements of the production and the student’s abilities.

“I look at students that I think are ready for the experience and have the skill set and play the instrumentation that’s needed,” Stock-Chapin said. “I think I have a pretty good gauge on who would be ready to take that experience on.”

Josie Yan (’27) is new to the pit and said she is excited to try something new and play with the band.

“Ms. Stock came up to me once during Orchestra, and she asked me if I wanted to do it,” Yan said. “Obviously, I thought it could be a really great opportunity because violin is something that I already do a lot out of school.”

The music for “Anything Goes” comes from the “Great American Songbook,” which refers to well-known tunes from the first half of the 20th century, typically in the style of jazz.

Jackson Turner (’24) is playing tenor sax, baritone sax, bass clarinet, and B flat clarinet for the musical. He said he is happy that this year’s musical is jazz-based because it enables him to play a larger role in the production.

“The first year that I did [the musical], I had very few songs that I was actually playing because of the instrument that I was on… but now I’m playing through like every piece,” Turner said.

Stock-Chapin said the music that the students must learn is at a professional standard and, therefore, very challenging.

“The students are playing professional-level books,” Stock-Chapin said. “The music they are reading is what musicians who get paid to play on Broadway read, so it’s probably the toughest music they’ve ever looked at in their lives.”

Yan said the music is both “hard” and “fun,” and learning it involves individual practice time outside of rehearsal.

Turner said one of the band’s previous challenges has been finding time to rehearse all together. 

“Last year, it was difficult to find time when everyone could meet… where we would all be able to practice everything together,” Turner said. “So, there were so many rehearsals where we had like two or three people missing, and then at the next one, we’d have those people, but a few others were out.” 

Furthermore, Turner said last year practice for the rehearsal “wasn’t timed very well” since some musicians joined at short notice and had to learn the music quickly.

Stock-Chapin said a reason why it is difficult to find rehearsal times is because students are committed to many other after-school events.

I think the challenge always is ASL students are super committed to a lot of things,” Stock-Chapin said. “It’s always a challenge to find rehearsal times that work for everyone.”

When practicing together for the musical, Stock-Chapin said bonds are created between band members from the intensity of the show process.“[Students] have these relationships that then they can say ‘hi’ in the halls for the rest of the year and beyond,” Stock-Chapin said. “That’s really special. There’s always friendships that happen.”

Likewise, Turner said being a part of the musical allows him to make meaningful connections with other players. 

“It’s fun to be able to also hang out with some of my friends that are also in the pit because you develop friendships and relationships with people there,” Turner said.

Moreover, Yan said she appreciates how the environment at rehearsals is very relaxed.

“Band is really like fun and loud and less, I would say, disciplined than orchestra, which is a really fun experience, and obviously a much more enjoyable environment to be in,” Yan said.

Overall, Stock-Chapin said she is looking forward to seeing the musical process unravel. 

“I’m excited to see it come to life as always,” Stock-Chapin said. “It’s still in the beginning phases now, but I’ve got some really great student musicians that are dedicated to playing, and yeah, it is going to be great.”

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About the Contributors
Tara Behbehani
Tara Behbehani, Opinions Editor: Online
Tara Behbehani ('25) is the Opinions Editor: Online of The Standard. Behbehani’s passion for reading and writing urged her to take a journalism course. Aside from The Standard, Behbehani is on the debate team and co-leads the Interfaith and Dialogue club.
Clara Martinez
Clara Martinez, Editor-in-Chief
Clara Martinez (’24) is the Editor-in-Chief for The Standard. She began journalism as an editor of the Middle School newspaper The Scroll and joined The Standard in Grade 9. Martinez is drawn to investigative news stories and profiles, although she does enjoy producing the occasional broadcast or photo gallery. In or out of the newsroom, she can always be found with a pocket-sized notebook and pen in hand.

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