Student musicians should take a bow
Kudos to Altoona Area High School for listing its pit orchestra in the Mirror’s “Taking center stage” supplement.
I assume that some of the schools probably performed to commercially recorded tracks. All of the schools that used student musicians deserve special recognition.
It takes talent and experience to be a good actor. But it’s also possible for someone with little or no acting experience to memorize dialogue and to successfully go on stage and deliver their lines.
However, unless you have years of training on a musical instrument, it’s impossible to read and perform the score. I bet that the cumulative craft-learning experience of a high school pit orchestra far exceeds that of cast and crew.
If you go to a Broadway show in New York City, a national touring production, PSU Centre Stage, ACT, P&J, et al, you may not see them, but you will be hearing live musicians.
It’s called Musical Theatre for a reason: Without musicians to compose the songs, orchestrate the score and then play it, either live or on the recorded tracks, there is no show.