Behind the Scenes of Beauty and the Beast: The Pit

Marissa Montoya, Staff Writer

It’s easy to forget, behind the swaggering actors and the deceptively-simple dance numbers, the shadowy architects that guide the fantastic spectacle above. Using strategically-placed mirrors, the instruction of the conductor, and their personal musical intuition, pit orchestra members maintain a constant presence that dictates shifts in both tone and scene.

The pit orchestra must obtain a mastery over all the music before opening night, and their rigorous schedule reflects that. After school, for every day except Friday, the students must practice from 2:30-5:45, and there are even Saturday rehearsals. However, the pit members take this in stride. “It’s really not that bad,” says 12th-grade bassoonist Caroline Miller. “Ms. Contino spreads everything out really well.” Of course, even with careful planning, there are bound to be conflicts. “I’ve had to miss a lot of meeting for other clubs I’m in,” says Deana Smith, 10th grade and only pianist in the pit orchestra.

Despite the sacrifices the students have to make, none regret taking on the challenge. Senior trombonist Eidan Jacob states, “I’m totally excited for the play, but I’ll be sad when it’s over because we won’t be able to rehearse any more, and rehearsing is so much fun.”

Linda Contino, conductor and mastermind behind the play, expresses her gratitude towards the devoted students. “It’s an honor to be conducting the student musicians in our pit for ‘Beauty and the Beast’ this year. They are wonderful, dedicated musicians. They support the cast both musically and in spirit, and it’s a pleasure working with them this year.”

Beauty and the Beast will be performed from December 12th-14th.