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April 15, 2016

MU Orchestra Prepares for ‘Into the Woods’

Erin Fralick

Musically talented Manchester staff, students, and professionals from surrounding areas gathered upon invitation to form this year’s orchestra pit for Manchester University’s musical production, “Into the Woods”. Music professor Debra Lynn conducts the orchestra pit and selects the students who are best fit for the orchestra.

MacKenzi Lowry, class of 2016, was invited to be a part of the orchestra for Manchester’s musical production. Lowry is a music education major and the percussionist of the orchestra. She is no beginner to orchestra pits for musicals, as she was involved with all of the musicals in her high school and one other at Manchester. 

Lowry plays the bass drum, bells, the xylophone, wind chimes, chimes, electronic drums, the snare drum, the suspended symbol, the tom-tom drum, the triangle and the brake drum. “I’m playing a percussion part that has at least three players worth of music, and I’m only one person trying to cover it all,” she said. “So it’s a little bit interesting.”

Rehearsals for the orchestra began Apr. 3, and the musicians received their music for the show a week prior. The orchestra will have a total of four rehearsals before opening night. 

Most of the rehearsing was done individually. “I think the orchestra is doing quite well, especially for only our second rehearsal,” Lowry said. “Everyone in that orchestra is extremely talented and extremely hard-working, and I hope I’m doing them justice.” 

While the musicians learned their music well enough on their own, playing with the rest of the orchestra and the cast for the musical had its own share of problems. “You might think ‘Oh this little run is really easy,’ but wait until you get cued into where it’s supposed to go.” Lowry explains. “It’s a lot more difficult when you add the whole production together.” She notes that while the music may not be technically challenging, that it is difficult in other aspects.