[Harp-L] beyond Big River

George Miklas harmonicat@xxxxx
Mon Jun 26 11:26:24 EDT 2017


The first time I played Big River, I played with an (*clears throat*)
"abbreviated" orchestra consisting of 1 harmonica, 1 flute/clarinet, 1
violin, 1 piano, and 1 drum kit / percussion.  At the final dress
rehearsal, the director handed me the score, and told me to sight read and
cover as much of the score as I could ALL the time when the harmonica was
tacet.  I remember that I did not have my Bb or Eb chromatics at that
rehearsal, so I used Bb/B and Eb/E diatonics to get through it.  I did use
Bb and Eb chromatics for the shows.

The second and third venues were with full instrumentation, and I have
never had to juggle the score like that first time ever since.

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On Mon, Jun 26, 2017 at 11:05 AM, Winslow Yerxa via Harp-L <
harp-l at xxxxx> wrote:

> I've done three productions of Big River. I also played Floyd Collins, a
> musical about a guy trapped in a cave in 1925 (true story). That one is a
> far more difficult book. It isn't produced very often.
> About two years ago I got a call from the company that had hired me for
> Floyd Collins. They were looking for someone who could play the guitar and
> harmonica parts simultaneously to cut costs. This happens to be physically
> impossible, as you need two hands for the jaw harp and bass harmonica parts
> (also tambourine). Even without that, the harmonica book and guitar book
> are booth too demanding to play both at once. And most guitarists who play
> rack harmonica (of course there are exceptions) are not very good at
> harmonica.
> Winslow
> Winslow Yerxa
> Producer, the Harmonica Collective
> Author, Harmonica For Dummies, Second Edition: ISBN 978-1-118-88076-0
>             Harmonica Basics For Dummies, ASIN B005KIYPFS
>             Blues Harmonica For Dummies, ISBN 978-1-1182-5269-7
> Resident Expert, bluesharmonica.com
> Instructor, Jazzschool Community Music School
> President emeritus, SPAH, the Society for the Preservation and Advancement
> of the Harmonica
> ________________________________
> From: Robert Hale <robert at xxxxx>
> To: "harp-l at xxxxx" <harp-l at xxxxx>
> Sent: Monday, June 26, 2017 4:26 AM
> Subject: [Harp-L] beyond Big River
> A few of us in the US are fortunate to have worked harp in productions of
> Big River.
> I hoped it would be a step to additional opportunities. Appears to have
> been a one-off. Two in my case.
> Veterans of Big River: Did you get called for harp in any other musicals?
> Robert Hale
> Serious Honkage in Arizona
> youtube.com/DUKEofWAIL
> DUKEofWAIL.com

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