As some people may know I am a Musical Director and Piano/Keyboard player for many Theatre Groups in Manchester area. This has become a year round job over recent years. I have recently just finished a successful production of “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers” for a local society in Bolton. I usually play Keyboards for these productions and rarely get the chance to conduct. For this production I was conductor. I thought brilliant I’ll have an easy week and will make a change from playing Keyboards. Opps How wrong was I. I was also accompanist for this show so I knew the show inside out,and thought Conducting it would be a easy.
It took me a few weeks to mark my score up as I had to find out tempo marks, Dynamics,what instruments come is where. Also the pace of the whole show lies with the conductor. As you have to listen to Cues of where the actors come in. The Orchestra follows you and you have to make sure there looking at you and following your speed. You are also responsible of how the Orchestra sounds as a whole. I think I achieved this . As in am dram the Orchestra get to play the score at Band call which is a day before. We were luck as we had 2 days of Technical rehearsals. Each conductor works differently and does things there own way. It is so important to prepare the score and know precisly what your doing. (If you are a Conductor or Musical Director I do apologize it is not meant to be about how you conduct) I got to view the show from both sides of the fence. As a Pianist and as a conductor. It is a great show to do.
Playing in a theatre pit is very interesting experience as a musician. If you have done this you will know what i mean. you also get to meet other musicians. What was great about the Orchestra is that many new friendships were formed and we got on so well.
What next ? Well it’s getting to Panto Season so will be doing a few of these over the next few months until February 2012. But next week I will be playing Keyboards for “Oliver” which is a great score to play and more importantly get to play with some great friends.
As for teaching I am still getting a few people asking for lessons. I will get back to you as soon as possible.