Pit orchestra makes for bigger and better production

CM Theater preps for season without current seniors


Center Moriches High School’s theater spring production of “Newsies” was a full-blown hit, nearly selling out all three productions even on Super Bowl Sunday. But this year had one thing different than previous years, and that is the live performance of the pit orchestra.

The Disney show was presented from Feb. 2 to 4 with over 12-year director Nancy Harkin, assistant director Pat Campbell, music director Phil LoPinto, and choreographers Katie Lemmen and Anna Morceri. In charge of the pit orchestra was conductor Sara Greene.

“The show was magical; the community was so supportive and it was so well done by the pit and the actors,” Harkin said, noting they plan to use the pit orchestra every year moving forward as this year’s production was one of her best.

The pit orchestra, according to pit band member Alex Babzien, is a club comprising both high school and middle-school students rehearsing specifically for the show. In previous years, the club would perform during the middle school theater show, but this year was the first year at the high school. They have about 30 members playing brass, wind, and percussion instruments.

Alex Gilroy, a senior who played Catherine in the production, said that the addition of the pit band made it easier for the actors with timing on the tracks by having a conductor.

“It really brought the show to life, hearing it in front of you instead of through speakers,” she said.

“Energy wise, the pit band brought so much energy, bringing the show to a whole new level,” added Harkin.

This theater company produces one show per year.

This year’s production also featured a total of 17 seniors, which will be a loss surely felt next year, said Harkin.

“We lose 17 seniors this year, so next year will be a rebuilding year for us,” she said. “It will still be just as great with our pit band members—it’s been a big transition for us.”

Next year’s musical is to be determined, but will show earlier in March. 


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