Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Welcome to the Accompanist website!

April Alsup
April Alsup 
"Book Musical Basics"
Musical Theatre Series Author

We provide accompanists to the music theater industry.

What is an accompanist? ac·com·pa·nist /əˈkəmpənəst/ a person who provides a musical accompaniment to another musician or to a singer.

We enjoy all types of music, but our specialty is contemporary musical theatre. We can work with your singers to perfect their skills and/or act as a music director for your productions.

Our team is lead by April Alsup, in 2018 she was nominated "Best Music Director" by her Colorado theater peers for the area's regional Broadway World awards.

Please let us know how we can help!

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

A strong case for digital sheet music

Every accompanist has scars associated to the task of turning pages. "There are all sorts of funny stories of students called upon to turn pages for a visiting artist or faculty member that went astray" said April Alsup, one of Denver's most popular music theater composers. "It seems like everyone has their eyes focused on different places on the page and there's just not a best moment for one person to turn the page for another." Clearly, the margin of error is small, but the audience seldom notices.

An electronic Bluetooth foot pad
turning Isle of Eigg (pdf) sheet music

What the artist really wants is for the page to turn with as little distraction as possible and it appears that some instruments are better suited than others. The good news for the accordionist is that your feet aren't considered part of the instrument and are free to turn the sheet music page at just the right moment. This is particularly helpful since the instrument is between the artist and the music stand and the instrument's keyboards are not easily seen at a glance.

Friday, April 24, 2020

An accompanist in the new COVID Age

2020 has been brutal for the theater community and professional accompanists are not immune. We've all been forced into a whole new way of thinking. Many of us were reluctant to embrace technology; after all, we often get our sheet music physically handed to us by an artist who is auditioning for a role and the casting experts expect us to play the parts flawlessly. I'm always glad when I know the song, but I'm easily annoyed when someone asks me to play it in a different key or speed-up the tempo...yikes!

April Alsup uses technology in the COVID age
April Alsup uses technology in the new COVID age

At least with teleconferencing the participants don't expect us to synchronize our parts with everyone in real-time and we usually get some time to deliver the instrumental accompaniments. I guess someday it'll all be done online, but for now the latency between the connections prohibits that and there seems to be a lot more planning involved in the musical development stages of new online theater productions. Perhaps it should have been that way all along, my guess is we'll be using teleconferencing a lot more even after the pandemic, it really is very convenient and allows us to deliver a better product for everyone involved.