• Drum Set and Percussion Setups from Musical Theater and More

Pippin - Broadway - Sean Ritenauer

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Sean’s setup for the Broadway revival of Pippin at the Music Box Theatre in New York City.

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“I am so thrilled to be a part of this extraordinary revival of Pippin. Thanks to our fantastic orchestrator, Larry Hochman, the percussion book is quite busy and a lot of fun to play. It’s a relatively diverse part that includes orchestral playing (xylophone, glockenspiel, timpani, etc) , groove/pop percussion (congas, bongos, tambourines), and a nice djembe and drumset feature that I play with Jared Schonig. As a percussionist one is inevitably linked with the drummer and I can’t imagine a groovier more consistent player than Jared.

Probably the most obscure part of the book is a tune where I don’t use a score at all. I have a whole routine of sound effects in quick succession that go directly with acrobatic and circus tricks happening on stage. I have two video monitors of the stage in my setup to make this all possible. (see photos below)

There were two distinct challenges while preparing the book for the first performance. The first was figuring out the setup. The Music Box is a small pit and they really wanted to try and fit in the entire band. I wasn’t sure this would happen but thanks to the creative carpenters we maximized the limited floor space by mounting a triangle (Miller Machine hype!), wind chimes, steel plate, bell tree, stick tray, and a Bass Drum on the wall. After that things just fell into place. The second challenge was working out the sound effects for the circus tricks that not only sounded appropriate but also were logistically possible in quick succession.”

Sean is a proud endorser of Pearl/Adams Percussion.

Check out Sean’s performance of the Higdon Percussion Concerto (cadenza) with the Huntsville Symphony. The solo section of the cadenza is written by Sean.

July 2013
11/7/18