December 20, 2011 at 6:14 pm

Music and Theatre

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Anything Goes, November 2011

Why doesn’t GSA music work with GSA theater?  When the Jazz Band played a medley from Annie at assembly a while ago, I was thinking how great it would have been if they had played for Anything Goes.  If we have this spectacular music program, why don’t they take advantage of the fall musical as a perfect opportunity to play in an orchestra?  Moira McMahon and Mesa Shubeck, the director and musical director, respectively, for Anything Goes, found people from around the community to fill the pit band, but it would be so cool if they could have had an ensemble of GSA musicians.

Playing in a musical is very different from playing in a concert, because you have to work with the actors onstage (don’t play too loud, follow their speed, give them the notes they need, etc.), but I think learning the craft of musical theater would be a good addition to the music curriculum. So, how about when actors audition for roles in September, musicians could audition as well.  Some elite jazz-banders could be chosen and begin working on the music for the November shows.  Kids like to be involved in theater, and this would present a way to be in a play without the pressure of learning lines.  Imagine the jazzy Cole Porter songs of Anything Goes played with the bright sound of GSA saxophones, the thrum of base guitars, David “Top-Combo-As-A-Freshman” Reinke on piano, and (dare I say it?) maybe even a few steel drums.  If the music program and the theater program entered into this natural symbiotic relationship, perhaps all the arts at GSA could begin to jell, so that musical actors and theatrical musicians could be part of a happy collaboration.
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