(Score sample of Keyboard Two part from Conrad Askland’s “Romeo and Juliet – the musical”, July 2014)
As I’m working on orchestrations for my third full length musical, “Romeo and Juliet” (http://www.RJmusical.com), I realize the need for a particular scoring approach for the Keyboard Two part. Here is the solution I came up with to incorporate Apple’s MainStage with Sibelius for use in orchestrations and creating the final Keyboard Two patch setup.
The scripts and scores are completed for my latest musical – “PAN” (http://www.PanMusical.com). Even though the show had a community theater premiere in Sept. 2013, the follow-up process of completing the scores is very intense. Edits to script and score from the live run have to be incorporated. Tech notes, alternate melodies, clarifications to script and tech, and the never ending process of adding as much complete information as possible to the final orchestral score.
Here’s the Rock of Ages band for the NCL Breakaway run from March through September 2014 out of New York. We just finished several weeks of rehearsals down by Tampa, Florida and we’re getting ready to install the show on the ship.
Auditions for Conrad Askland’s Romeo and Juliet the musical will be October 7-8, 2014 at the Historic Lincoln Theatre in Mount Vernon, WA. Visit www.RJMusical.com to sign up for auditions.
This show will be a world premiere with an all new musical score set to the original words of William Shakespeare. Directed by Joe Bowen and presented by META Performing Arts. This live musical version of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet will run Jan. 30 – Feb. 15, 2015 at the Lincoln Theatre in Mount Vernon, WA.
There will be NO participation fees for this particular production.
There’s been some confusion on the dates for my new Romeo and Juliet musical. I picked up a gig as music director for Rock of Ages with NCL out of New York, so as a result we’ve pushed the dates for the RJ premiere back. Here are the new correct dates:
Auditions Tues. Oct 7 and Wed. Oct. 8, 2014 from 6-9pm at the Lincoln Theatre in Mount Vernon, WA. Callbacks will be Saturday Oct. 11, 2104.
Rehearsals will be Oct. 16, 2014 through Jan. 22, 2015 with breaks for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Leads can expect to rehearse 2-4 days a week and chorus/supporting characters can expect 2 days of rehearsal to start.
Shows will run Jan. 30 – Feb. 15, 2015 at the Lincoln Theatre in Mount Vernon, WA.
The show will be directed by Joe Bowen and presented by META Performing Arts. Conrad Askland (that’s me) is composer and music director for the show. The text for the show uses only the original words of William Shakespeare.
Future info and updates will be posted at http://www. RJMusical.com
My upcoming musical theater opera, “Romeo and Juliet” was written with an Akai LPK25 two-octave USB keyboard. What? Muahaha, yes! In retrospect kind of hard to fathom, but there she is. I did all the music composition and beginning orchestration sketches in the Officer’s Bar of a cruise ship on my off time. The Akai LPK25 keyboard has convenient octave switching buttons on the side so I was able to easily navigate through bass and treble parts for fairly effortless composing. It was only a little tedious when doing soprano vocal lines; that’s when I really wish I had that extra octave. But hey, writing an opera on a two octave keyboard that fits in my computer bag – I’ll take that! Thank you Akai for an awesome product!
After the run of my latest musical, “PAN” (http://www.PanMusical.com), I’ve escaped to Europe and the Bahamas to perform, reflect and work on new projects. I love the different musical influences, especially Rome, Italy and Greece where I stumbled upon a concept for a new musical theater work that is dark and engaging.
Now in the Bahamas, I can’t really say that the musical influences of the tropical islands apply to my projects much, unless you need Reggae or club dance music ideas. But it’s good for relaxing and I’ve enjoyed the beaches and tropical locations with my compadres including Nassau, Belize, Grand Cayman, Cozumel, Honduras and Jamaica.
So, to current projects: Yes, it’s true that I am working on a musical adaptation of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.
The review is in for C.L. Askland’s “PAN the musical” world premiere!
From reviewer Lily Olason from Entertainment News Northwest Magazine:
“Askland creates more magic”
“…this show delights believers of any age”
“Askland’s take on the Neverlandian pirate troupe is excellent”
“Captain Hook (Peter Whited) is delightfully menacing”
“Throughout, the musicality and original score stuns”
“It’s as much fun to watch the show as to listen”
“The aesthetics of this show…are a knockout”
“Choreographed fabulously by Glynna Goff”
“Forty-year-olds will love this as much as their third-grader”
“It is certainly appropriate for kids”
PAN the musical “asks the big questions, it makes you think, and hands you a mirror”
“Pan: The Musical is a local, skilled and professional-caliber production with a big heart”
Cover articles from Cascadia Weekly magazine and the Skagit Herald newspaper on my latest theater work, “PAN the musical”. Previous cover articles included Entertainment News Northwest magazine. Thank you very much to these publications for supporting new theater works. For more info about my treatment of JM Barrie’s “Peter and Wendy” story visit http://www.PanMusical.com
Peter Pan comes to life with a cast over 40 strong in this live musical stage production. Fun audience interaction, melodramatic suspense, vaudeville gags and high brow musical theater combine to delight adults and children alike. Share this classic tale with your family while you help Peter Pan and the Lost Boys defeat the Pirates of Neverland.
A world premiere musical by Conrad Askland. Directed by Joe Bowen and presented by META Performing Arts. An interactive family friendly experience. The classic story for a new generation.
PAN the musical 2013 trailer
PAN 2013 Performance Dates
Reserved seating ticket prices: $20, $17, $15, and $10 available now plus a special $10 bargain show on Thursday, Oct. 3, 7:00 pm – all seats first come first served night of the performance – tickets available two hours prior to curtain.
Fair warning: The first couple rows may get wet!
In Sibelius notation software there’s a great feature where part names automatically print at the top of each page. Unfortunately this is also where your song title and subtitle are placed by default. The end result is that at the top header of each page over the first title page, the part title (full score, keyboard/vocal, trombone, etc.) prints on top of the title text and makes it all unreadable. The part name clashes on top of the title header text.
I played piano in the show band on the RCCL Navigator of the Seas from June 9 thru July 14, 2013. Ports of call included Rome, Sicily, Athens Crete and Ephesus (Turkey). This was my first time doing a cruise ship gig and it was a fun experience.
So what’s it like working as a musician on a cruise ship? I had read a lot of horror stories online so I was prepared for the worst. But you know what, it was pretty fun! Much better than I had anticipated.
At present I am totally immersed in the writing, editing and revision process for several musical theater shows. It is exciting, depressing, grueling, tedious and ultimately the most fulfilling of all possible worlds for me. Several other writers have bared their souls on the writing process so I thought I’d share a little of my own experience.
I’ve just had the very frustrating experience of scoring the drum part for half of an entire musical theater score, and doing it wrong. Arghh! I got some bad advice so I’m posting some clarification here for other arrangers that are new to scoring drum parts. Hopefully this will save you some headaches.
EVERMORE – a new science fiction rock musical with stage play by Mike Rostron and songs by Mike Rostron, Jim Nelson and Lesley Rostron. Directed by Christopher Key and inspired by the novel “Engine Summer” by John Crowley.
AUDITION NOTICE – Auditions for PAN the musical will be Tues. May 28 and Wed. May 29, 2013 from 6-9pm at the Lincoln Theater in Mount Vernon, WA. This is a new family-friendly creation by Conrad Askland based on JM Barrie’s 1911 book “Peter and Wendy”. Join Peter Pan, Hook, Wendy and the Lost Boys on their adventures in Neverland. The classic story for a new generation.
For more info and to schedule auditions visit the Peter Pan musical website at PanMusical.com
2013 trailer for my show Witches! the Musical. This trailer contains clips from the October 2012 community theater premiere at the Lincoln Theater in Mount Vernon, WA. The next run of this Salem musical will be June 2014 at the Whitby Courthouse Theater in Ontario, Canada.
Thank you so much for the awesome support of the Theater Arts Guild, cast, crew and local audiences. It was a very exciting and fulfilling run for us and your feedback was very generous in helping us bring the show to it’s next level.
On Tuesday, April 30, 2013 at 7pm the Historic Lincoln Theater in Mount Vernon, WA will host a free public video showing of Witches! the Musical recorded during it’s October 2012 premiere run. This is a fundraising event for the Lincoln Theater Digital Futures Initiative. The event will include presentations by Theater Arts Guild (TAG) and members of the creation team.
Witches! is a new musical about the 1692 Salem Witch Trials. The story contains many of the historical people involved in the trials including Bridget Bishop, Dr. William Griggs, Abigail Williams, Rev. Samuel Parris, Giles Corey and the Circle Girls. Visit the show website: Salem Witch Trial Musical.
The Producers at McIntyre Hall in Mount Vernon, WA from April 6-20, 2013. Presented by Theater Arts Guild of Skagit County, WA. A musical theater comedy by Mel Brooks following the antics and schemes of a broadway producer.