The Show Goes On

Elizabeth Janney, A&E Writer

Before the curtain rises, before the lights are dimmed, and before the first line is said, the pit orchestra tunes their instruments, does their warm up, and takes their seats. They are hidden in the front part of the stage unseen by the audience but certainly heard. Their contribution to the musical does not come in the form of lines and acting, but in musical notes.

This year, Xavier High School’s Bring It On the Musical features a pit orchestra led by band director Ms. Kelli Swehla.musical1
“Conducting the pit orchestra is one of my favorite things to do,” Swehla said. “Every night is a little bit different and you never know what’s going to happen. It is scary, but exciting at the same time.”

Although Ms. Swehla finds directing the pit orchestra enjoyable, she says it is not without its difficulties.

“You have to see a lot of parts moving at the same time and make sure those are happening independently but together,” Swehla said. “One of the hardest things to do is coordinate the timing between what happens on stage and when we come in. There’s a line that has to be said or there’s something that has to happen just right in order for that whole song to take place in the right way.”musical2

The orchestra consists of eight members with guitarists, keyboardists, a drummer, a bass player, and two percussionists. Most of the members are hired professionals, but the two percussionists are Xavier students. Senior Peter Deegan and sophomore Gus Brown were asked to participate in the pit orchestra.

“I’m not much of an actor,” Brown said. “So I enjoy being able to participate in theater in an instrumental way and see the professionals at work.”
Performances of Bring It The Musical take place in the Regis-LaSalle Theater at the following showtimes: November 11 and 12 at 7 p.m. and November 13 at 2 p.m. Tickets can be purchased beforehand in the activities office but will also be sold at the door for performances that are not sold out.