• Drum Set and Percussion Setups from Musical Theater and More

Josh Goldman - Pacific Overtures

Josh’s setup from Pacific Overtures at the Boston Center for the Arts with the BU School of Theater.

Pacific Overtures is an infrequently performed Sondheim musical that presented a number of challenges. The show is supposed to have two percussionists, but due to spatial constraints, one was all that could be allotted. So to include all of the essential characteristic sounds and to try to replicate much of the dense orchestration of the original, I ended up playing one part with each hand very often. Because I was combining the instrumentation of both parts, it took me a good long while to figure out how I'd have my setup to allow for me to play the things I needed with my right hand and left simultaneously. .

The score calls for some unusual instruments, including a small mounted gong (far right of the setup, above the toms), "bowl gongs," for which I use pieces of a Roto-Toms to replicate the shimmering, ringing sound (on the left on the green table) and Boo-Bams, which I had a blast making myself out of a long, 6" piece of PVC pipe (top right, above the Roto-Toms) with mallets that I made out of a ball of rubber bands wrapped around an extra pair of sticks (the sticks with the black ball on them).

My MalletKat Express comes in handy, as I do not have a xylophone or timpani, and even if I did there would not be space for them in the theater. But it also allows me to go right from playing xylophone to whatever the next instrument I need is and back without changing mallets or sticks. This is my first time using the Miller Machine and without it the show would have been devoid of triangle.

Here's a list of the gear I'm using (basically left to right on the photo):
Brake Drum
Small Treeworks Mark Tree
LP Bell Tree
Miller Machine with 4" Grover Triangle
2 Pieces of my smallest Roto-Tom
Zildjian 14" New Beat Hi-Hats
Small Slapstick
2 Octave MalletKat Express (For Xylophone, Timpani, Tam-tam, and some Glockenspiel)
LP Granite Blocks
Zildjian 18" K Custom Session Crash
Zildjian 8" ZBT Splash
Ludwig Beginner Glockenspiel
Medium and Large Remo Roto-Toms
Yamaha Rick Marotta 14" Signature Snare Drum
My homemade Boo-Bams
Pieces from my Pearl Vision Drumset - The 2 Rack Toms mounted on the Bass Drum, with remote bass drum pedal
LP Aspire Bongos
8" nipple gong mounted in a snare drum stand”

Click here to see more about Josh, the shows he’s played, and what he has coming up next.