• Drum Set and Percussion Setups from Musical Theater and More

Dave Roth - Finding Neverland

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Dave Roth’s percussion setup for the Broadway production of Finding Neverland at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre.


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"Finding Neverland is an original show on Broadway that started in March of 2015. It’s a unique mix of pop tunes with classical style chamber music. The composers, Eliot Kennedy and Gary Barlow, use this as a way to show the lead character, J.M. Barrie’s (the creator of Peter Pan) quirky personality as he lives in a world of make believe in his head while the outside world is still living in a late 19th century conservative sense of order.

The percussion book is primarily a rhythm part with a lot of exploration of colors. Our orchestrator, Simon Hale, loves the idea of using as many instruments as possible to add something different at all times. My gear is listed below and was provided by Eric Poland’s rental service:

  • Yamaha/Deagan Symphonic Bells
  • Adams Chimes
  • Yamaha Timpani (26” & 29”)
  • Ludwig Field Drum
  • Yamaha Maple Custom Piccolo Snare Drum
  • Yamaha Concert Toms (14” & 15”)
  • Paiste 16" Signature Full Crash
  • Paiste 17" Signature Fast Crash
  • Wuhan 36" Tam Tam
  • Quilian 14" Bodhran
  • Meinl 16” Tar
  • Meinl Doumbek
  • Meinl Udu Drum
  • Zildjian Crotales (2 octaves)
  • Alan Abel Triangles (two 6” and one 4”)
  • Miller Machines (three triangle machines)
  • Rhythm Tech Mountable Tambourines (3) one is played with foot pedal
  • LP One Shot Shakers Small (2) mounted to a foot pedal with an LP Gajate bracket
  • Rhythm Tech Hand Tambourine
  • Temple Bowl
  • Tibetan Finger Cymbals (my own that I brought back from Japan - beautiful set)
  • Bell Tree
  • Mark Tree
  • Brake Drum
  • Ron Vaughn Temple Blocks
  • LP Vibraslap
  • Yamaha Slapstick
  • LP Cowbell
  • LP Cabasa
  • LP Shakers (2)
  • Automobile Spring Coil
  • Vaugncraft Woodblocks (6” & 4”)
  • Bass Bow

One of the biggest challenges in deciding what instruments to use was deciphering Simon’s descriptions due to his London background. Many of these terms or descriptions could be defined in many different directions. He originally asked for Indian Bells which became the Tibetan finger cymbals, rice bowls which became the temple bowls, metal 'boing' which became the car spring and clapper which in both cases became the slap stick. Also 'hand drum' was used frequently in which he gave me the latitude to come up with whatever I found appropriate. It was a lot of fun working with Simon as he is very passionate about his work and very supportive of the players that bring it to life.

The most prominent feature of the book that made it somewhat unique is the use of the bodhran in about 6 or 7 of the charts as there is an Irish element to a number of the tunes in the show. I’m very passionate about this drum and LOVE playing it."

Dave is a proud endorser for Yamaha Percussion, Paiste Cymbals, Vic Firth & LP!

April 2016

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11/7/18