This podcast is devoted to the lives and experiences of instrumental musicians who play for musical theatre. Listeners can hear the stories of what goes on in "the pit" and aspiring musicians can learn what it takes to become a pit musician.
23. "A Bunch of Everything Combined" - Tommy Jackson, house band leader
What can you do if you're wanting performing arts in a fairly isolated community of 4,000 people? You can either go somewhere else that has it, or create it yourself. The town of Elkin, NC renovated its Reeves Theater in 2017, and asked Tommy Jackson if he would create a house band to be featured performers with their own shows as well as provide backing for guest artists. What does this have to do with the pit? Well, aside from the crossover of skills, it was Tommy's theatre experience that gave him a major piece of the blueprint for how to do this as well as his direct connections for getting this gig in the first place. We talk a lot about the house band, but also his theatre experience that ranges from music directing and playing keyboards for productions of shows like Chess, Chicago, and Aida, playing Jerry Lee Lewis for The Million Dollar Quartet, or his own humble beginnings as a child dancer in The Nutcracker.Tommy is also a songwriter. You can check out his music at https://jacksoncleary.wixsite.com/tommyjackson and the Reeves House Band at https://www.facebook.com/thereeveshouseband/, and the Reeves Theatre itself at http://www.reevestheater.com.Follow the podcast on Twitter or Instagram @LifeInthePitPod. Reach out with a message through www.davidlanemusic.com/podcast.
22. "I was terrified...and it was incredible!" - Haidee Dollak - piano accompanist
If you're a piano student, be sure to listen to this episode! Being a professional soloist is a moon shot, but learning how to be a great accompanist will give you a great chance to be paid for what you do! Haidee is a staff accompanist primarily working with the theatre department at Elon University, one of the premiere musical theatre programs in the United States. We have a fun conversation about what it's like to be a theatre accompanist and then transition to the Piano 1/Keyboard 1 spot of the pit.As a reminder, you can follow the show on Instagram or Twitter @LifeInThePitPod. Reach out with a message through www.davidlanemusic.com/podcast .
21. Getting on National Tours Locally - Wayne Leechford, contractor, reeds
Most national tours of Broadway shows travel with a small core group of musicians along with the music director, but require the services of local contractors to fill out the personnel needed in the pit for each area they visit. In the Raleigh-Durham area, that person is most likely Wayne Leechford. He has contracted musicians for many groups, but especially for the Durham Performing Arts Center (DPAC), a regular stop for the biggest Broadway tours including Wicked, Hamilton, Billy Eliot, The Color Purple, Legally Blonde, Mean Girls and so many more! In addition to what it's like getting musicians for those shows, working with the different music directors, and performing in the shows (Wayne also professionally plays saxophone and clarinet), we talk about what musicians can do to get on the radar of someone like Wayne and get to play for these prestigious shows and what those expectations are if you are hired.You can find out more about Wayne, including his amazing bio, at www.wayneleechford.com . Follow the podcast on Instagram or Twitter @LifeInThePitPod. Visit www.davidlanemusic.com/podcast to find out more about the show or to leave the host a message. Please share with your friends, and leave a rating and review.
20. "So I snuck out of the school with her oboe..." - Matthew Covington, oboes
This is the third and concluding episode of the woodwind trilogy. In Episode 18, we talked about flutes. Episode 19 was about clarinets and saxophones. This week's episode features Matthew Covington, as we talk about double-reeds (such as oboe and English horn) as well as Matthew's unorthodox path to choosing his instrument and becoming a professional musician.Follow Life in the Pit on Instagram or Twitter @ LifeInThePitPod. You can leave a message to the host through www.davidlanemusic.com/podcast.
19. "It kinda puts you in a weird moment." - Kania Mills, clarinets/saxophones
This is the 2nd episode in a trilogy of conversations with musicians who play a specific family of woodwinds.Kania Mills is plays clarinets for multiple symphony orchestras and concert bands, and teaches at two colleges. We talk a lot about the difference of a clarinetist's role in band and orchestra. We, of course, talk a lot about playing for theatre. We also have an important conversation about race. Kania is an African American woman, and shares her perspective on the challenges that brings and the possibly subconscious but apparent biases that she often receives. In spite of the serious subject included, it is a fun conversation with a lot of laughter!You can follow this podcast on Instagram or Twitter @LifeInThePitPod. You can contact the host through direct message there, or by filling out a contact sheet at www.davidlanemusic.com/podcast. Please rate, review, and share if you've enjoyed this episode!
18. "Our Limitations Are a Gift to Ourselves" - Tika Douthit, flute
Episodes 18, 19, and 20 form a trilogy where I will be talking to a musician who focuses on one specific family of the woodwinds. This episode features Dr. Tika Douthit, an assistant professor at Winston-Salem State University, adjunct professor at Forsyth Tech Community College, and principal flutist for the Piedmont Wind Symphony. He talks about the flute family and his experiences in the pit, about the importance of an emotional connection with the music, and being our own inspiration.You can follow the LIFE IN THE PIT on Twitter or Instagram @LifeInThePitPod. You can send a message or find out more information at www.davidlanemusic.com/podcast.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Great podcast and great host. This absolutely fills a niche for theatre musicians - or anyone involved with theatre who wants a peek at what goes on down here. I can’t wait to see how this evolves!
Enjoying this podcast
I am finding this podcast informative, insightful, and enjoyable. I look forward to more episodes.
An Amazing New View of Musical Theatre!
What a unique perspective! I love hearing the stories of the different artists in theatre and this is a perspective that I haven’t heard much of before. If you’re a theatre buff (especially musical theatre), this show will give you new appreciation for the musicians who work so hard to bring musicals to life!