Life in the Pit
46. “The Best They Can” - Trevor Landreth, percussionist

46. “The Best They Can” - Trevor Landreth, percussionist

April 23, 2021

Trevor Landreth is a percussionist and educator in the Greater Wichita area.  In addition to playing in the pit, he teaches high schoolers and college students in not only percussion, but also drum line, something we haven't given a lot of attention here before.  In his spare time, he also co-hosts a podcast about movies called The Couch Critics.

Follow the podcast on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter @LifeInThePitPod.  Visit www.davidlanemusic.com/podcast for more info or to send feedback regarding the podcast.  You can also donate through the website.  This podcast is currently ad-free, so all donations are gratefully appreciated.  Please leave a rating and a review.  Thank you for listening.

 

45. “I just love playing!” - Mary Ann McSweeney, bassist

45. “I just love playing!” - Mary Ann McSweeney, bassist

April 16, 2021

Mary Ann McSweeney has played enough shows on Broadway to be really close to having played in every physical theatre on Broadway.  She's the original bassist for Avenue Q, You're a Good Man Charlie BrownFar From Heaven, and Silence.  But she has subbed for periods on dozens of other shows including The Book of MormonSister Act, Next to NormalMiss Saigon, Billy Elliot, Newsies, and many more!  We talk about her phenomenal career as a Broadway bassist, her side projects, how she gets around NYC with such a big instrument, and what new work she's picked up during the pandemic.  As a bonus: we have listener questions starting at 42:44!

Follow the podcast on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter @LifeInThePitPod.  Visit www.davidlanemusic.com/podcast for more info or to send feedback regarding the podcast.  You can also donate through the website.  This podcast is currently ad-free, so all donations are gratefully appreciated.  Please leave a rating and a review.  Thank you for listening. 

44. The Gear You Need to Get Started - Brady Aldrich, multi-instrumentalist

44. The Gear You Need to Get Started - Brady Aldrich, multi-instrumentalist

April 9, 2021

Brady Aldrich lives in Wenatchee, Washington, and has music directed and played shows on keyboard, trumpet, drum set, and percussion.  He has also done technical theatre particularly from the aspect of the sound, and we talk about what goes into sound reinforcement for the pit.  Our main focus is going down the list of what music directors and keyboardists need as far as technology to get started and have a good chance for success.  Before you shop at your music store, consult this episode.

Follow the podcast on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter @LifeInThePitPod.  Visit www.davidlanemusic.com/podcast for more info or to send feedback regarding the podcast.  You can also donate through the website.  This podcast is currently ad-free, so all donations are gratefully appreciated.  Please leave a rating and a review.  Thank you for listening.

43. Music Directing as a High School Student - Sachio Nang, music student

43. Music Directing as a High School Student - Sachio Nang, music student

April 2, 2021

Sachio Nang played in the pit for all of his musicals in his Chicago area high school, including RentLes Misérables School Version25th Annual Putnam County Spelling BeeThe Little Mermaid, and Little Shop of Horrors.  On the latter, he asked for the experience of leading the pit orchestra as a keyboardist conductor for the show, and this was a group of hired professionals...being led by a 17-year old student!  We chat about that experience, along with his general high school music experience and the early stages of what comes next in his career.  Sachio is currently a freshman at Oakton Community College.  He also coordinated an international video project in 2020 called A Song of Hope, a video that went viral on YouTube and received media attention, and is working on a similar project for this year called "You'll See".

You can find that and many other videos on Sachio's YouTube Channel

Follow the podcast on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter @LifeInThePitPod.  Visit www.davidlanemusic.com/podcast for more info or to send feedback regarding the podcast.  You can also donate through the website.  This podcast is currently ad-free, so all donations are gratefully appreciated.  Please leave a rating and a review.  Thank you for listening.

42. “A Well-Stocked Tool Kit” - Shelagh Abate: French Horn

42. “A Well-Stocked Tool Kit” - Shelagh Abate: French Horn

March 26, 2021

Shelagh Abate is a Broadway veteran who plays the French horn.  She has opened the productions for Disney's FrozenA Gentleman's Guide to Love and MurderHoneymoon in VegasAnastasiaEvitaFiddler on the RoofSouth Pacific, and other shows as a principal and a sub.  We talk about "snow calls".  Shelagh talks about the need for a well-stocked tool kit for a pit musician, and how even in Broadway the pit musicians are "smashed in the pit like contortionists!"  Also, for the first time ever(!), we answer listener questions that were posted in advance (around the 40:45 mark).  Check out more about Shelagh at https://shelaghabate.com/ 

Follow the podcast on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter @LifeInThePitPod.  Visit www.davidlanemusic.com/podcast for more info or to send feedback regarding the podcast.  You can also donate through the website.  This podcast is currently ad-free, so all donations are gratefully appreciated.  Please leave a rating and a review.  Thank you for listening.

41. “Drama Has Always Been Part of My Life” - Andy Mock, pianist

41. “Drama Has Always Been Part of My Life” - Andy Mock, pianist

March 19, 2021

Regular listeners of this podcast first heard Andy Mock's voice on the bonus episode on CTG's Wizard of Oz that followed Episode 26.  Andy has worked with a number of theatres and schools in the Greensboro area, and we have a fun conversation talking about some of the things that distinguishes a great accompanist aside from piano technique and music reading.

Follow the podcast on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter @LifeInThePitPod.  Visit www.davidlanemusic.com/podcast for more info or to send feedback regarding the podcast.  You can also donate through the website.  This podcast is currently ad-free, so all donations are gratefully appreciated.  Please leave a rating and a review.  Thank you for listening.

 
40. “In New York…you say yes!” - Andrea Neumann, trombone

40. “In New York…you say yes!” - Andrea Neumann, trombone

March 12, 2021

It's our first full Broadway episode, and the guest is trombonist Andrea Neumann.  For much of two decades, she has been a very active musician in the NYC area, playing for the Brooklyn Orchestra, Empire Band, Westchester Symphonic Orchestra, the American Symphony Orchestra, and so much more.  She has also played the trombone book in the Broadway productions of Aladdin, The King and IAmelie, and Fiddler on the Roof (both the traditional version and a special production in Yiddish).  Andrea talks about success and failure on the road to becoming a regular in the pit!

Follow the podcast on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter @LifeInThePitPod.  Visit www.davidlanemusic.com/podcast for more info or to send feedback regarding the podcast.  You can also donate through the website.  This podcast is currently ad-free, so all donations are gratefully appreciated.  Please leave a rating and a review.  Thank you for listening.

39. Programming Keyboards for Theatre Part 2 - John Eldridge: keyboardist, music director

39. Programming Keyboards for Theatre Part 2 - John Eldridge: keyboardist, music director

March 5, 2021

Modern keyboardists in theatre can't just turn on their instrument and play the book.  There are often several hours needed for preparing the keyboard for the sequence of sounds and effects needed for a show.  Those effects have gotten more and more elaborate  John Eldridge is the owner of  Stage Sounds, a company that specializes in over 100 shows of downloadable preprogrammed keyboard files for MainStage software, with more titles each month, and additional services being developed.  He returns to follow up on a great conversation begun on Episode 38.  This episode gets more into the modern keyboardist's world, WHY shows have gotten so complicated, and how theater companies and music directors need to adjust their mindset to how one should plan a show.   And again, John's company might be the answered prayer to all the opportunity cost you'll be investing.

Follow the podcast on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter @LifeInThePitPod.  Visit www.davidlanemusic.com/podcast for more info or to send feedback regarding the podcast.  You can also donate through the website.  This podcast is currently ad-free, so all donations are gratefully appreciated.  Please leave a rating and a review.  Thank you for listening.

 

38. Programming Keyboards for Theatre Part 1 - John Eldridge: keyboardist, music director

38. Programming Keyboards for Theatre Part 1 - John Eldridge: keyboardist, music director

February 26, 2021

If you've never played a keyboard for a modern musical, you may be wondering what the big deal is with programming.  If you HAVE played keyboard for a modern musical, then you know!  John Eldridge of Boston, MA definitely knows.  After spending hours preparing his keyboard for an upcoming show, he got the idea to save and rent his work to save future keyboardists the huge opportunity cost that is spent here.  He created the company Stage Sounds, a company that specializes in over 100 shows of downloadable preprogrammed keyboard files for MainStage software, with more titles each month, and additional services being developed.

John talks about this mysterious but fascinating aspect of a theatrical keyboardist's life that has gone from non-existent to a MAJOR part of the job in a few short decades, including his experience as a staff keyboard programmer for the NYC off-broadway production of Ride the Cyclone. Thanks to such a great conversation, this is presented in 2 parts, with part 2 coming next Friday!

Follow the podcast on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter @LifeInThePitPod.  Visit www.davidlanemusic.com/podcast for more info or to send feedback regarding the podcast.  You can also donate through the website.  This podcast is currently ad-free, so all donations are gratefully appreciated.  Please leave a rating and a review.  Thank you for listening.

 

37. Symphony Orchestra with Theatrical Touches - Ingrid Keller, executive director

37. Symphony Orchestra with Theatrical Touches - Ingrid Keller, executive director

February 19, 2021

Ingrid Keller is the executive director of the Western Piedmont Symphony Orchestra.  Prior to this, she grew up acting in theatre, playing roles such as Eponine in Les Misérables, Vivienne in Legally Blonde, and Snoopy in You're a Good Man Charlie Brown.  She studied in London, and has lived in Seoul.  Her theatrical background and diverse experience with culture has influenced her programming for the WPSO, including audience-immersion events inspired by recent Broadway plays such as The Legacy Gala and the Downton Abbey Experience.  She also represents many performing arts group in talking about how the orchestra has remained functional through the pandemic.  Although she is not an active pit player, she has pit experience at probably the youngest age of any previous guest.

Follow the podcast on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter @LifeInThePitPod.  Visit www.davidlanemusic.com/podcast for more info or to send feedback regarding the podcast.  Please leave a rating and a review.  Thank you for listening.

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