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Julian Wiles, Founder and Producing Artistic Director
Marybeth Clark, Associate Artistic Director

September 18, 2008

Life In The Pit by Music Director Wendell Smith

Filed under: Back Stage Blog — julianw @ 1:33 pm

The orchestra pit, that is. It’s always an adventure. And a whirlwind of activity. Besides the basic rhythm section, (Larry Crosswell, piano, John Kennedy, bass, David Patterson, drums) we’ve got an array of brass (Chuck Dalton, Steve Berry,trumpets, Phill King, trombone, Brian Reed, french horn) and woodwinds (Mark Sterbank, Jon Phillips, Kathy Ardrey). The woodwinds pull triple and quadruple duty, each playing three or four instruments a piece – flute, clarinet, bass clarinet, saxophones, oboe (not at the same time, though I wouldn’t put it passed them.) So, too the percussionists, two players (Tim Clemons, Michael Hargrove) on timpani, xylophone, vibraphone, bongos, castanets, maracas, tom toms, cymbals and triangle. They move so fast every performance that I rarely catch a glimpse of them. So, counting me (on keyboards and conducting), we have 12 men and a lady “in the trenches.” Speaking of that lady and multiple talents, in addition to her instrumental skills Kathy Ardrey can be seen on stage every night as chaperone Glad Hand during “The Dance at the Gym”, and heard as the voice singing “Somewhere.” Talk about your over achievers! I’m proud of our musical crew, and it’s a pleasure to work with them. Thanks, gang, for helping Charleston Stage “sound” like a hit!


(A View Into The Depths Of The Orchestra Pit At The College of Charleston Sottile Theatre)

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