By Andy Doerschuk Published July 3, 2010
Last month a select group of percussion students got a unique opportunity to learn firsthand about the life and techniques of percussionists playing in Broadway theaters. Sponsored by the New York University Classical Percussion Program, under the direction of Jonathan Haas, the forth annual Broadway Percussion Seminar/Summit wound students through the orchestra pits of eight Broadway productions. For five days they underwent intensive sessions on drum set, multi percussion, timpani, and mallets, presented by the percussionists who wrote the original book for each production. The clinics were conducted by players currently working in such shows as Behind The Razor Wire, In The Heights, Mary Poppins, Mama Mia, Phantom Of The Opera, and Promises, Promises. Every student was given the opportunity to watch two Broadway shows from both the audience and pit perspective, experience a live recording session, and sit in on a panel discussion with leading percussionists, conductors, and contractors who are actively pursuing careers on Broadway.