The Glen Bard

The student news site of Glenbard West High School

The Glen Bard

The Glen Bard

Glenbard West Pit Orchestra Set to Perform for ‘The Spongebob Musical’

The pit orchestra for Glenbard West provides live music for The SpongeBob Musical debuting on November 2nd. 

The pit orchestra is back to bring the music for The Spongebob Musical. Micheal Fox, director of the musical, says, “Live music is exciting, both the actor and the orchestra work off each other really well, it gives a sense of excitement and energy to the production.”

Catherine Hlavacek, pianist accompaniment to the orchestra, says, “Live theater accompanied by a live orchestra is just next level.” 

A pit orchestra is smaller with only one or two musicians for each instrument. John Walsh, pit orchestra director for the musical, says, “There is no place to hide, everyone’s kind of a soloist,” making the pressure high and a greater chance to mess up. “If that trumpet part doesn’t get played then the trumpet part doesn’t get played,” Mr. Walsh said. 

Hailey Weaver, junior flutist for the pit orchestra, says, “It makes you responsible for your part, you can’t really count on other people.” 

Additionally the music is a very different playing experience for the musicians. Ms. Hlavacek says, “There’s a lot of challenging music that’s different from a lot of other experiences.” 

The musicians face a heavy task needing to adapt to the new complex music.  “The music is significantly harder because this is stuff that they would use on Broadway,” Mr. Walsh says, “We’re asking our pit talent to be professionals when it comes to playing what’s on the page.” The pressure is high especially with opening night so close. 

Emma Eltrozh, junior pianist for the pit orchestra, says, “It’s more stressful because you know the singers are relying on us as their background music.” Weaver says, “It’s definitely a little stressful and the anxiety is a little high.” 

Anything could possibly go wrong and no performance is the same leaving the musicians with extra pressure according to Ms. Hlavacek. “You just have to be ready for anything that might happen,” Ms. Hlavacek says. 

“The pieces could fall apart at any moment,” Mr. Walsh says there’s countless factors that could go wrong but “the show goes on,” leaving the musicians with a priceless learning experience. 

“I’ve had to adapt to the singers and what they’re doing,” Elztrozh says. Mr. Fox says, “If an actor ends up changing something with their timing- the tracks can’t really adjust to that but live orchestra can.”

The amount of dedication and hard work pays off on opening night. There’s no other way to describe it but excitement and awe as Weaver says, “It just syncs, everything works. It’s so cool to see the pieces fall into place.” Having the audience in front of them and the actors behind creates a new experience that allows their art to shine. “You finally get an audience behind you that reacts to everything you see on the stage. It reacts to the songs, there’s nothing like that electricity,” Mr. Walsh says,

“You get to see why it’s worth it, that’s what art is supposed to do, to elicit a response.” 

The pit orchestra practicing with theater for The SpongeBob Musical onNovember 2nd. Spending hours after school each day to practice. 

The pit orchestra practicing with theater for The SpongeBob Musical. Spending hours after school each day to practice.
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