Playing in the Pit Orchestra
Finding Out Whatís Worth It Depends
On HowYou Define Whatís ĎWorth Ití
By Andrea Genovese Soares (March 1, 2003)
|A month ago, someone was trying
to convince me that joining the Pit Orchestra for "Oklahoma!" brings with
it nearly no recognition, and is therefore not worth it. Today, after weeks
and weeks of rehearsal and one night of the actual performance, I still
think that there is basically no recognition involved with playing in the
pit, but itís much more than worth my time.
Before I start pouring out my perhaps controversial thoughts, you need to know a little about me. I have been on stages acting, narrating, singing, or playing an instrument for as long as I can remember. I know as much (maybe too much) as I would hope to have learned at the age of 16 about performing. So, Iím not just rambling on about something I know nothing about.
Iíve always heard people saying that applause is a musicianís best friend. Perhaps applause is one way in which we receive recognition, but itís certainly not what makes performing "worth it." I think that something has to be fun, educational, or beneficial to someone in need to be worth the time; it doesnít necessarily have to be approved by anyone but yourself.
A former teacher of mine, Mr. Broderick, once shared his pearls of wisdom by saying, "You donít have to please anyone but yourself." I think a musicianís pleasure should derive from composing, practicing, singing, playing, performing, overcoming obstacles, and feeling accomplished, not only from hearing the applause. The applause is merely a bonus. The way I see it, if itís not fun or beneficial, why are you doing it? Is it worth your time? No. I donít see why someone has to approve of the music for it to be a positive contribution. His yearís musical came close to being canceled because of bad weather. Even if for some reason we had not gotten a chance to perform, we still would have enjoyed the rehearsals and learned a lot during them.
As for being in the "Oklahoma!" Pit Orchestra, it is fun. My only complaint would be that itís really annoying to have the best seats, and not be able to watch for most of the play. Besides that, though, it is very interesting to be around such great musicians among them Ms. Jenkins, Ms. Snyder, Mr. Nette, and Ms. Hopkins. Practicing is demanding, long, and perhaps meticulous, but if you like playing your instrument it can be fun. Is it worth it? That depends on how you define "worth it."
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