Musicians in the pit orchestra set the tone for “Shrek the Musical”


Matthew Trezza

Violins will be a vital part of the pit orchestra.

Matthew Trezza, Staff Writer

The audience shuffles into the Stroudsburg High School auditorium. A low murmur is heard as the lights dim. They are here to enjoy Shrek The Musical.

Leading the audience into the magical world is the sometimes overlooked component of the musical: the musicians in the pit orchestra.  

The musical’s “pit” consists of strings, brass, drums, guitar, piano, and more. With only two more months until opening night, Shrek the Musical’s pit is busy rehearsing, so the music will mesmerize the audience.

“I think the musical is one of the most fun and most rewarding things that we do as a music department all year,” said pit conductor Mr. Harold Cassady. “Because it gives everyone a chance to perform together and do something that not a whole lot of high schools do.” 

The pit plays separately from the performers up until the last couple of weeks. Each member of this small, but talented, group is expected to show up prepared and well-versed in their music.

“It takes practice to get them down well, but it really all comes together when we all play together,” said senior Jacqueline Augugliaro. 

Unfortunately, because of the pandemic, there was a national decrease in students who were playing their instruments.  In a study provided by Frontiers, there was a 22% decrease in how long people would be playing their instrument.

The musical has been a great way for students to rekindle their love for music and start playing more again.

Augugliaro is a cellist who was approached to become a part of the pit. The pit plays a crucial part in making this show come to life. They work hard in and out of school.  Cassady is thrilled with their effort.

“I was not familiar with Shrek when Ms. Kubiak chose it,” Cassady said. “I think the music is absolutely fantastic. I think anyone who comes to see the show is going to walk out just loving the music.”

Mr. Max Kubiak, the show’s Director, along with Ms. Billye Kubiak, the Producer/Choreographer, and Ms. Janice Lee, the Music Director, appreciates the pit’s effort and how important the music is to each performance.

Musicians, dancers, stagehands, lighters, the pit, and more all play unique roles in striving to make this year’s musical a roaring success.

The production is going to be on April 22, 23, and 24, 2022.

Tickets will be sold Wednesday, March 23 outside of the band room door. Make sure you hurry to get them to support the cast and crew!