Pit Orchestra (Beyond the Play)

Brooke Gamble

Have you ever been to a musical before where there was live music? The pit underneath the front part of the stage is where the musical instruments gather to play for musicals. Our West Carrollton High School Pit Orchestra consists of many instruments including brass, woodwinds, percussion, and stringed instruments including piano, violin, cello, and bass guitar. Different musicals may include different instruments as well. The 2023 musical for this year is called The Addams Family and will be performed April 21-23rd giving our Pit a little under 2 months 

to practice their music.  

Earlier in theater history from the 1500s to 1650s, Pit Orchestras were called the yard and it was a lower level that “lower-class” members of the audience would stand to watch the show. It was usually overcrowded and hard to see the full stage. Richard Wagner, who led many operas and symphonies still performed worldwide, gained a reputation for his commitment to distraction-free performances. He is credited as the official creator of Pit Orchestras. 

The commitment to distraction-free performances is why the Pit is so-called “hidden”. The instruments playing in a pit allow for the best acoustics and focus their audience on the actual performers. This helps remove any overstimulation of so much occurring on-stage. The orchestra being in the pit also allows for that “background music” goal to be more effective.