Hidden Musicians: Shorecrest Pit Orchestra


You might not see them, but they are there. Orchestra Pit is a long-standing tradition at Shorecrest where our very own orchestra players create live music for the musicals. Working hours on end to perfect their music, they gain a massive amount of extra credit for their hard work. We decided to ask the question, what do these hidden artists think about their experiences and why is being a part of this community important to them?

Pit musicians dressed up for Red and Green Day.

Surprisingly, even though these behind-the-scenes performers are such an important part of the musicals, tying together performances and acts into a perfect bow, they aren’t recognized enough for their work and importance in creating a seamless show. There are about 20 musicians and their instruments crammed into a tiny space under the stage, but they’re having so much fun it doesn’t even bother them, except for the three consecutive 7-hour rehearsals that happened in the days before the show started. That was a bit much. The pit community is smaller and closer knit than other musical groups at this school, according to junior Fletcher Lohrentz, stemming from the fact that in order to make the show work, they kind of need to be a close-knit group. Paying attention is critical in order to make things run smoothly, which includes the director, the other musicians, and the actors as well. It’s not all work though! Throughout SpongeBob’s entire run, the pit was laughing along with the rest of the audience, even though they couldn’t see much of what was happening onstage. Even when they kept getting hit in the head with the beach ball boulders that kept falling into the pit!

When we asked pit members about their favorite musical numbers from SpongeBob, we got many different answers. “Definitely either ‘I’m Not a Loser’ or ‘When the Going Gets Tough’. They’re just so fun and full of energy, and the actors singing them are super talented,” says Luci Carli, a clarinet player. Other favorites include “Poor Pirates”, “Money Matters”, and “Super Sea Star Savior” (a personal favorite as well).

From worrying about spoilers to being so tightly compact, the pit is not your typical Shorecrest orchestra experience. Is it hard not to talk about what happens in the show? According to Vivian Zittle, the percussionist, “In some ways yes because I wanna tell people how cool this is, but in others no because I know they will see it for themselves and I don’t want to ruin the surprise.” We know the costumes, props, and actors are incredible. But when you go see SpongeBob the musical, or any musical in the future, take a minute to listen and fully appreciate the music, the people, and all the hard work that went into making it.