How does a Musical Director build on the success of West Side Story? By taking on a musical that consists almost entirely of songs and practically no spoken lines of course! Not only do the vocalists have to sing at the very extreme ranges of their registers most of time, they also have to deliver vast amounts of story line, plot points and monologues in song form. The musical rehearsals for this show began back in April when the cast members assembled each day after school to build these vast vocal numbers, pages and pages of songs to be committed to memory. As we were also working in a COVID safe rehearsal room doors and windows were flung open and this attracted a great amount of interest from across the whole school. I remember one staff member creeping up the stairs and listening at the door saying they couldn’t believe how brilliant it was to hear such strong, powerful and brilliant male voices projecting all the way to the languages department! This production has been challenging for all the cast and band. We have enjoyed introducing musical side by side performers in our pit too this year so that students can benefit from interacting with professionals and professionals can mentor. We have even managed to persuade back some alumni to join us. I have particularly enjoyed the support of a deputy MD, Euan (Lower Sixth), who has rehearsed singers and accompanied rehearsals throughout the process. Being able to step back and see students supporting and running the show is possibly the best outcome any MD could hope for.
Charlotte Forsey, Director of Music, Head of Creative Arts Faculty