Perfectly orchestrated

RUHS band will play live music in drama production "9 to 5"

As the first semester of the school year comes to an end and the second semester approaches, Redondo Union’s pit orchestra begins its preparations for this year’s spring musical production of Nine to Five. 

After completing marching season and the holiday concert, the band gathered multiple musicians who are interested in performing with the orchestra. The group then met twice before winter break to sight read their music, and get a head start on rehearsing.

“At the first and second rehearsal I thought wow, this is going to be a really good group,” junior Aidan Sears said. “The people who I’m playing with are really fun and talented, so that’s going to be really cool.”

In order to finalize the roster of the orchestra, band director Ray Vizcarra will hold auditions for highly competitive spots for instruments like clarinet and alto saxophone in the upcoming days.

“The show this year has about 13 books and we are having about 20-25 students playing because we like to split [the books] up to give everyone an opportunity,” senior Alyson Rochlin said.

Once the orchestra’s roster is finalized and all the spots are filled, the group will practice weekly on the music, which will be quite different than previous years. For the musical Into the Woods, the music was very classical and fairy-tale like, but according to Sears, the music for Nine to Five includes “a ton of variety” and is also “super catchy and really fun to play”

“The show Nine to Five will be playing a lot of different styles of music because it’s based off of a lot of Dolly Parton songs, so there will be some country and jazz,” Rochlin said.

Aside from the music changes, the drama department only had an actual pit orchestra for Crazy For You and Into the Woods. Before 2018, the spring productions only used recordings, and the addition of a real pit orchestra changed the musicals in numerous ways.

“I think that [the addition of the pit orchestra] made the musical 300 times better than they have ever been in the past,” Sears said. “The music feels so much more alive when it’s not just from a recording and it’s real live music, and it makes our quality of performance much better.”

The addition of the pit orchestra has not only benefited the quality of the plays, but also the musicians who are behind all of it.

“It’s a really good opportunity the musicians because we get a chance to learn the weird things about playing with a singer, because songs can cut off quickly and there’s different terms you need to learn,” Rochlin said. “It’s a lot more exciting and I enjoy it a lot.”

In the end, the pit orchestra is excited to start working on the musical, and put in a lot of work for the upcoming production.

“It’s an incredible experience. It’s always really fun to work with drama and just get to be with your friends and have a blast,” Sears said. “It’s a lot of time and a lot of effort but it’s really worth it for me.”