For Spring Break 2012, I got to fulfill one of my Teenage Dreams.
When I was in high school I always wanted to play in the pit orchestra for the musicals (when I was in middle school I tried to sing in a musical, but I’m not going to tell that story). A couple of the musicals that my high school put on had harp parts - Once Upon a Mattress, Kiss Me Kate - but there was always a more senior harpist who was given the part. In college I got to play for a couple of operas, but never a musical. I once had the chance to play in the pit for a production of the WIZARD OF OZ but had to turn it down because it conflicted with another gig! So when I got a text from a friend asking if I would be interested in playing for a local high school production of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (Stephen Sondheim), I said yes, absolutely!
The production was a success and it was so much fun! I got to see some old friends and meet new people. It turned out that more than half the pit orchestra were Crane School of Music graduates, so we had lots to talk about! The kids in the show did a great job too. Especially on the last day - I walked into the auditorium with my harp about an hour and a half before the show, and the music director told me that a bunch of the kids had gotten food poisoning the night before! Regardless, the show went on and they did a wonderful job, even though some of them were still sick. Someone told me that the boy playing the lead character was running to the bathroom in between scenes to throw up! You wouldn’t have been able to tell, though. It must have been such a bummer to be onstage trying to act while feeling sick, but I guess that will make it more memorable for them!