Alec Wilmart’s percussion setup for Dreamgirls at the Village Theater in Seattle, Washington.
"The Dreamgirls percussion book is a lot of fun to play, with a variety of R&B conga/bongo grooves, dramatic timpani moments, and tambourine. So much tambourine. There aren’t a lot of quick switches, so I set up my hand drums as close to the drum kit as I could so I could lock in with the drummer, our Jim Reif. I then made the vibes and the lone music stand the center piece of the set-up.
There is nothing in this book that I would call technically challenging. The vibes part is very straight forward, and the timpani part doesn’t require too much pedaling, but there are several pitch changes. The groove is the most important aspect, and the notation leaves a lot of room for interpretation.
The arc of the show covers about 20 years of R&B history, from the 60’s to the early 80’s, so I listened to a lot of Jackie Wilson, James Brown, Temptations, Supremes, and Earth Wind and Fire to help prepare the different bongo and conga grooves."
- Tambourine (Hand-Held and Mounted)
- Bell Tree
- Cow Bell (Foot pedal)
- Triangles (Medium and Small)
- Temple Blocks
- Wood Block
- Suspended Cymbal