Arranging Sondheim

I just completed my first arrangement of a piece of music.

And for my first arrangement? Sondheim. Am I mad?!?

Well, in some ways, yes. But it was necessary. The piece is being done for the Windy City Slickers. It’s the Invocation and Instructions to the Audience from The Frogs. Never heard of it? Neither had I. But it’s the perfect opening number to our upcoming show, “Broadway Regards.”

The Slickers had an arrangement in their library that included some re-written lyrics to poke fun at some localized situations (one of which is a jab at Chicago Gay Men’s Chorus, which was grossly out-of-date). I re-wrote a few of the lyrics, added an introduction, softened the jab at CGMC (hey I have to be somewhat loyal here!) and made the entire piece much more cohesive. The song has been performed so many different ways in many different productions over the years that it’s become quite fluid– so it was easy to mix and match sections to suit our needs.

But damn. It was a lot of work!

I’m proud of how it turned out. I think it will be very funny and the audience should enjoy it very much.

Sometimes I scare myself with the things I can do if I just sit down and figure it all out.

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