Reply To: Pit orchestras
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I do not think, given the monetary resources, that hiring more experienced players and having the students play alongside them would be in any way a bad thing. I would see this more of a learning opportunity for the students, as they could learn a great deal listening to, conversing with, and playing with these more experienced players. I would communicate this to the eager 1st trumpet player. As a trumpet player myself that has performed in a pit orchestra before, I know I found it exciting and educational to play with the more experienced players. If some of the part to to difficult for the students to handle, I would suggest having them possibly sit out during those parts and then play the achievable parts, switching off with the older player. This would also give both players’ chops a break. In regards to your second question, I would say only use a synthesizer for strings if you absolutely have to. In no way would this ruin the performance.