After several years of conducting the high school’s pit for musicals, Mr. Christopher Kent has stepped down from his role. This year the pit will be directed by Mrs. Jenna Brooks, one of the social workers at Hillcrest.
Although this is Mrs. Brooks’ first time directing, she is no stranger to the music community.
“I have my undergrad in music,” Mrs. Brooks said. “I have just been trying to put my name out there to find music opportunities. I had expressed interest to help in any musical way.”
Since this is Mrs. Brooks’ first year, she will have to adjust to the typical routine and also find a way to create a pit band of her own. It will be a challenge to create bonds with the musicians, since they are use to having Mr. Kent direct.
“I’m a little nervous,” Mrs. Brooks said. “I am also really excited because I saw the musical last year, and music is such a great passion of mine that I get to pursue that and share that love of music with students.”
Mrs. Brooks is not one to shy away from the stage. This not her first time being involved in musical theatre, either.
“For musicals, I was usually on stage acting,” Mrs. Brooks stated. “This will be a different role for myself. Otherwise, growing up I was in concert bands, wind ensembles, jazz bands and polka bands.”
Since Mrs. Brooks is used to playing in the band, there will be a bit of an adjustment between playing and directing. There are many differences in the music and where the director’s focus needs to be at certain times.
“Being able to read the score,” Mrs. Brooks said would be her biggest challenge. “Right now I am so trained to read a few lines at a time, whereas, now I am reading 14 lines at the same time. Really preparing my brain for that, which is a different way of looking at it.”
The Little Mermaid is a widely known musical and movie. Many people know the music to it and the story line behind it. This really adds to the viewers’ experience of the show. Mrs. Brooks enjoys the music and story of the show, as well.
“I would say probably the song ‘Part of Your World’,” Mrs. Brooks explained. “Just because the music melody behind it has so much passion and movement. The melodic lines behind it were brilliantly written, and the players are able to put so much passion behind it.”
Mrs. Brooks’ most important goal about starting a new role is being able to bond with the musicians right away.
“We are going to be with each other the next two months for a lot of time,” Mrs. Brooks said. “Being down in the pit, we will be crowded because that is just the way it is. Really establishing those relationships between the pit members and developing that trust between the pit and myself, so that they know I am there to help them musically and come together as one sound.”
We wish the best of luck to Mrs. Brooks and the rest of the pit in their endeavors for the upcoming musical running from January 30 to February 2.