Behind the Scenes of the Matilda Musical Pit


From left to right: Ryan Fuerte (10), Calvin Barnum (12), Will Sasaki (12), Austin Roach (10) (Photo by Amber Chen)

Eva Mayrose, Reporter

Every year, the incredibly talented PVHS drama department puts together a fall and spring show. Passionate actors, hard-working stage crew, set designers and technicians all spend weeks preparing and practicing to ensure a successful show. However, it’s not until guests see the final product that they realize what a large impact the musicians of the pit have. Though they may not be on center stage, dedicated musicians from all grades help control the tone and mood of the scene with their lively accompaniment.  

Stepping up from the previous show “Peter and the Starcatcher,” the pit has grown to over 10 students working together with music director Shellie Parkinson to create the perfect nostalgic score for this spring’s “Matilda.” 

“There’s a lot of different genres in the score, for example there’s a pop ballad … and in other songs there’s hard rock elements,” freshman and electric bassist Jeffrey Falcone said. This allows for musicians to experiment with different styles of scores and music genres. 

Before committing to three hour practices throughout the week, pit members must audition and go through an interview process held by Parkinson and a senior pit student member. However, any nerves about the interview or being a newcomer quickly dissipate as members bond throughout the season.  

“My favorite part about playing in the pit is probably all the different people coming together,” freshman and clarinet player Olivia Kao said. “We have people from orchestra, marching band and jazz band so we get to combine a lot of different genres.”

One of the most prominent things about the pit is that all instruments are welcome. 

Different from the school’s normal music classes which are divided into orchestra or jazz band, the pit is an environment where students from all musical backgrounds can come together and create a unique sound. 

To put it simply, “it’s a really cool experience to play for a production,” Falcone said. “I’ve never really done something like that before.”