PE musicians asked to audition for G&S orchestra

Richard Campbell, teaming up again with director Rose Cowpar, is the musical and vocal director for the forthcoming musical, All Shook Up, and will be auditioning orchestral musicians for the production on Satuday, August 1.

Bob Eveleigh: PE Gilbert & Sullivan Society is inviting musicians to audition for the orchestra for their main offering this year, the Elvis Presley compilation, All Shook Up.

In a theatrical orchestral initiative last encountered in Port Elizabeth musical theatre circles in the early 1990s, related to the first few Showtime Awards revues, when young orchestral musicians were sought to match the Showtime cast range of 15 to 22 years, the PE Gilbert & Sullivan Society is inviting musicians to audition for places in the orchestra for their main offering this year, the Elvis Presley compilation, All Shook Up.

The show, a modern adaptation of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night built around the King of Rock’s songbook, will be directed and musically directed by the usual G&S team of Rose Cowpar and Richard Campbell, with regular performer in society past productions, Amy Palmer, making her choreographic debut.

The show is set to run in the Savoy Theatre from September 18 to October 3.

After utilising backtracked scores extensively in their shows over the past two years, G&S is again putting together a live orchestra for All Shook Up and so is seeking musicians who would like to join in the rocking fun.

Auditions for the orchestra will take place from 10am on Saturday, August 1, at the Centenary Methodist Church in Richmond Hill. Additional auditions for anyone not available on that day will be held at a later date – and if there are logistical issues with instruments like guitars, drums and keyboards in terms of transport or equipment – anyone interested – may arrange for a home audition.

A minimum of Grade 5 Certificate or equivalent experience is preferable and, ideally, drummers and guitarists should be able to read music. Anyone, however, who feels they have strong playing ability, enjoys working in a team environment and is willing to give it a go, is more than welcome to audition.

There are no age restrictions and young musicians or older instrumentalists who would like to be in the orchestra pit are welcome.

Those trying out are asked to prepare an audition piece of their own choice, preferably in the Elvis/rock and roll style that shows off their ability, technicality and style.

The instruments required for the orchestra are:

Reed 1 Flute and Alto Saxophone (This part can be adapted for just the alto saxophone if necessary).

Reed 2 Tenor Saxophone and Clarinet (This part can be adapted for just the tenor saxophone if necessary).

Reed 3 Baritone Saxophone and Bass Clarinet (This part can be adapted for either instrument if necessary).

Trumpet 1 & 2 Upbeat parts that require a good level of endurance. (Trumpet 2 is a great opportunity for first-timers!)

Trombone A good rock capability is preferable and improvising might be necessary.

Organ This will be played on the electric keyboard and will provide a lovely nostalgic feel to the music. Good technicality is required for this part.

Guitar 1 & 2 Rock‘n’roll is a guitarist’s dream! The ability to read music is preferable but if you can keep to a set style and improvise well on set chords, this is the part for you! This part may alternate between electric and acoustic guitars.

Bass Guitar The bassist is a pivotal part of the orchestra and the ability to read music or improvise on chords is preferable.

Drums The ability to read music on the drums will be a big advantage, but if you can follow a good rock‘n’roll direction and are comfortable in your playing skills, come and try out!

Anyone interested should call Richard Campbell on 084 219 3524 or e-mail for further information and to book an audition time either on August 1 or at their home

An audition package is available providing information about the show, the parts and some tips for auditions.

Bob Eveleigh

Savoy Theatre, Adcockvale Port Elizabeth Eastern Cape South Africa


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