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I'll be conducting the pit orchestra for a community theater production of The Drowsy Chaperone this June. I had almost my entire pit orchestra confirmed, including all four reed books being covered. And for the price our company can afford, that was amazing that I was able to get enough good doublers to still have one person per book.

Well, my reed 1 guy just let me know he's gotta bail because an ensemble he's a part of will be performing in Reno during the closing weekend. I really don't anticipate being able to find another doubler for that price that can play flute, clarinet, and sax, so I'm already now planning on getting one person to cover just the flute stuff, and I'm undecided on separate people for clarinet and sax or finding a doubler for at least those two together. My question now is, just how much clarinet is in that reed 1 book? Is it mostly just flute and sax with a little bit of clarinet, or is there a substantial amount of clarinet? If it's minimal clarinet, how often are both reed 1 and 2 playing clarinet at the same time?

I also teach at the high school where this production takes place and it's the only high school in town, so I like to use as many current and former students as I can as long as I have faith they can handle it. I've got a kid that I know could handle the saxophone parts in there, but he doesn't double on clarinet. (Yet. But he doesn't yet know that the word yet is in there.) If it's not too much clarinet, I've got a clarinet player who I think can handle it, too, but if there's a lot of difficult stuff I might have to look beyond my current and former students for a good college-level doubler. If the biggest challenge is that it's up there in range but reed 2 is on clarinet at the same time and playing lower, I could also have them switch parts for that passage since my reed 2 girl is arguably the best clarinet player to ever come through our program and would have no problem handling it.

I'm sure I'm overthinking a lot of this. Just figured the more I know about the reed 1 book, the better job I can do with finding the right person or people to cover it.
 
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