Andrew Warren's setup for The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee at Studio Theatre of Long Island in East Islip, New York.
Andrew's write-up and gear list below photos.
"The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. Boy did this book make me one busy bee. See what I did there? Anyway, this score was such a blast. There were so many things going on at once that it felt as though I was running a marathon. Nothing is better than playing a book that combines aspects of both drumset and orchestral percussion!
For this production, we were on the stage set behind the spelling bee contestants. While I was designing my setup, I had a couple of things to consider including space, instrument choice and whether or not to utilize electronics. I decided to program the timpani and finger cymbals into my Yamaha DTX Multi-Pad. I guess I need a Finger Cymbal Miller Machine now! Everything else in the book was played acoustically. Throughout the show there is consistent mallet percussion including glockenspiel, xylophone, and vibraphone. We decided to cut the vibraphone and orchestrate it onto other instruments due to space.
I found the orchestration of this score so interesting. I did a lot of research and also chatted with Dennis Arcano, former sub of Spelling Bee on Broadway to get some more information on how to successfully execute the book. He helped shed some light on the idea of 'No backbeats on 2 & 4' throughout the show. It took me a while to feel comfortable executing this idea. There definitely was a backbeat or two still in there, LOL. Another interesting aspect is that most of the score calls for some type of 'Hot Rods'. I’m an artist with Creative Percussion https://www.creativepercussion.net and Kevin makes some killer multi-rods. I used my 'Jazz Twist Rod/Mallet Combos' due to some quick changes from drums to cymbal rolls. I also switched to the Creative Percussion 'Rock Rods' on some of the bigger numbers such as 'Pandemonium'.
Overall, this show was very interesting to learn and perform! It’s a great show for someone who wants to practice quick changes, play lots of syncopated/offbeat rhythms, and have a good laugh. I thoroughly enjoyed my time at the 'Bee'!"
Drums: Yamaha GigMaker (Green Glitter Grape)
- 10”x8” Rack Tom
- 12”x9” Rack Tom
- 14”x14” Floor Tom
- 22”x16” Bass Drum
- 14”x5” Pearl Sensitone Elite Black Nickel
- Remo Clear Powerstroke 3 on Kick Drum
- Remo Ebony Pinstripe on batter side of Toms and Kick Drum
- Remo Ambassador clear on resonant side of all drums
- Remo Emperor Coated on batter side of Snare Drum
- Gibraltar Curved Rack
- Pearl H-930 Series Double Braced Hi Hat Stand
- Pearl P930 Demon Style Single Bass Drum Pedal
- Ahead Spinal Glide Drum Throne
- LP Everything Rack
- Meinl 8” Classics Splash
- Meinl 14” Classics Custom Dark Hi Hats
- Meinl 16” Pure Alloy Medium Crash
- Meinl 19” Classics Custom Dark CRash
- Pearl Glockenspiel
- Musser Kelon Xylophone
- LP Bell Tree
- LP Blue Small Jam Block
- LP Red Medium Jam Block
- Miller Machine with 6" Alan Abel Triangle
- LP Fish Style Wooden Guiro
- RhythmTech Mounted Tambourine
- Union "One Earth" Bongos
- Creative Percussion 7” Hex Stax
- Yamaha DTX-Multi 12 Electronic Percussion Pad
- Big Fat Snare Drum Donut XL on Floor Tom
- Big Fat Snare Drum Round Sound on Snare Drum & Rack Toms
- TnR Products True-Vibe Isolation Mounts under Floor Tom & Snare Drum
- KBrakes HiStops for Hi Hat
- KBrakes Kick Grips
- Cympads Chromatics on all cymbals (Lime Green)
- Encore 202R White Poly Mallets
- Creative Percussion Jazz Twist Rods/Mallet Combos
- Creative Percussion Rock Twist Rods
- Vic Firth Freestyle 5A Drumsticks
- Vic Firth Jazz Brushes