It’s hard to improve upon a tradition of near perfection, but that’s exactly what the Huntington High School pit orchestra managed to at last weekend’s school musical.
Huntington’s pit musicians have a set a very high bar over the years and this year’s show orchestra worked for months mastering very challenging scores and surpassed even the high expectations that are now the norm.
The pit orchestra was comprised of: Violin: Arielle Harvey, Gabe Medina-Jaudes, Haley Mortell, Allison Quinn, Ella Siepel; Cello: Diya Rai-Gersappe, Katie Stock; String bass: Grace Wildermuth; Flute: Julianna Joseph Whyte, Eliana Ng; Oboe: Chris Mavrogian; Clarinet: Meagan-Elise Malone, Mathew Hearl, Grace McKenna; Saxes: Aaron Chin, Oskar Kilgour, Miles Tierney; Horn: Katie Riley; Trumpet: Nathan Musso, Michael Reed, Jose Suarez; Trombone: Chris Engle, Matt Quinn; Tuba: Lucy Biblow; Keyboards: Katherine DeGennaro; Guitar: Teddy Holly; Percussion: Christiana DeLuca; Drums: Natalie Furman; Piano: Victoria Garbarino
“It was an honor to play with such incredible group of musicians,” Ms. Mortell said. “Everyone dedicated countless hours to make the show the best it could be.”
The musicians began learning the music for the show months in advance. Rehearsals stretched for many week, culminating in a series of very late nights in the final days before the curtain went up for the first time.
“The pit orchestra has always delivered, but this year especially we had an awesome sound that I’m proud to have been a part of,” Mr. Holly said. “On top of being a really talented group, everyone there made it a great experience and now, a great memory.”
Orchestra members were dressed in black and the attire combined with the glow of small lamps that allowed the musicians to read the music produced an enchanting effect and added to the overall atmosphere in the high school auditorium.
“I have always loved participating in the pit orchestra,” Ms. Rai-Gersappe said. “It’s probably the highlight of my year. I have been fortunate enough to have been doing it for three years and I have enjoyed every moment! This year was no different. Our pit sounded amazing, and this was definitely my best performance since I started my freshman year. Everyone did a spectacular job.”
Huntington music teacher Brian Stellato was the show’s musical director. Hosun Moon was the vocal coach. Music teacher Victoria Garbarino performed with the pit orchestra on piano and also handled the show’s choreography.
“The pit worked so incredibly hard this year on a very different style of music than we had done in the past,” Ms. Malone said.
The musicians exuded professionalism throughout the production and audiences responded enthusiastically to the remarkable sounds emanating from the orchestra pit.
“After countless hours of practice and many late nights working with the cast, I was really proud of the pit’s performances this past weekend,” Ms. Riley said. “We brought audiences back to the height of the Jazz Age in New York City. From my vantage point, I could even see attendees tapping in their seats. As a senior, I will miss being a member of the pit, especially working with my fellow musicians.”
Feelings of pride and satisfaction permeated through the entire orchestra. “The performances were full of energy and the pit was on fire during all of the showings,” Mr. Reed said.
The months spent learning the show’s challenging music and then rehearsing as an orchestra paid off handsomely.
“This year’s show was different from years past and was challenging to put together,” Ms. Harvey said. “The score in particular had its difficulties, but the musicians rose to the occasion. I am very proud of everyone in pit orchestra, cast and stage crew. I am thankful to have been a part of a group with such extraordinary talent.”