Bill Hayes' percussion setup for the recording session of NBC’s Peter Pan Live at Avatar Studios, in New York City.
“For Peter Pan Live!, we had terrific new orchestrations (for a 36 piece orchestra) from Doug Besterman and Danny Troob, with lots of percussion. The percussion booth was huge, and I assembled a large circle of instruments. At the center facing the conductor was a xylophone with two octaves of crotales with bells mounted over it; to the right vibes and boobams; to the left were chimes, three timpani, bongos, a concert bass drum, piatti, a field drum and a djun djun. Between the vibes and xylophone were castanets, Miller Machines for triangle and finger cymbal, a mounted and hand held tambourine, Mark Tree, bell tree, and a mounted cabasa. Over the timpani was another trap table with African shakers and rattles, a slapstick and various other toys.
A high windowed baffle separated me from the drummer, Paul Pizzuti, and we occasionally tossed instruments back and forth over it. Video monitors allowed me to see the conductor from all locations.
Cues move quickly in this environment, with lots of sight reading, and additions and cuts being made often, so I try to mount as much as possible in case I don’t have time to put mallets down. It’s also important to have a couple pieces of thick fabric to put down on the xylophone or elsewhere to facilitate a quick change from, say, chime hammers to xylophone mallets, or to put down a tambourine quickly. And with three copies of the music I could move from one music stand to another as seamlessly as possible and (hopefully) not miss anything!
There’s lots of magic in Peter Pan, so lots of crotales, bells, various Mark Trees, triangles, lots of tinkly things! And for the many fight scenes, the boobams were great, and Paul and I had lots of African drums and other exotic sounds. We had a lot of fun putting this one together!”
Peter Pan Live aired on NBC, Thursday, December 4, 2014.