Romeo and Juliet the musical – World Premiere January 2015

Romeo & Juliet Premiere poster

Romeo and Juliet the musical will have it’s world premiere January 30 – February 15, 2015 at the Historic Lincoln Theatre in Mount Vernon, WA.

RJ is my largest and most advanced musical score to date and features 10+ live musicians with a cast of 30+. The script and lyrics use only the original source text from William Shakespeare’s original Romeo and Juliet. Our time period is the authentic time period of Shakespeare’s original world premiere of RJ, late sixteenth century (1592-1594).

This work is orchestrated for Key 1, Key 2, Trombone, Horn, Flute/Piccolo/Recorder, Oboe, Clarinet/Bass Clarinet, Drums Bass and Guitar.

In over 400 years, since the original premiere of Romeo and Juliet, there has never been a successful musical rendition that has been embraced by both audiences and theater critics. Artistically this is a momentous challenge as we aim to do just that. We are brave. We are strong. We are RJ 2015. HUZZAH!

Follow our progress at the website for Romeo and Juliet the musical

Lyman, WA photos

I had a great time taking a break to take some photos in Lyman, WA. Particularly I enjoyed the rustic landscape and looking for interesting textures that we might overlook on a brisk walk.

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I’m always amazed how just having a camera in hand can change our perspective for what the eye notices in it’s surroundings.

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Sibelius and MainStage for Music Scoring

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(Score sample of Keyboard Two part from Conrad Askland’s “Romeo and Juliet – the musical”, July 2014)

As I’m working on orchestrations for my third full length musical, “Romeo and Juliet” (http://www.RJmusical.com), I realize the need for a particular scoring approach for the Keyboard Two part. Here is the solution I came up with to incorporate Apple’s MainStage with Sibelius for use in orchestrations and creating the final Keyboard Two patch setup.

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Rock of Ages 2014 NCL New York Arsenal band Spanish newspaper write up

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From left to right: Miki Santamaria (Guitar 2), Conrad Askland (Music Director and Keyboards), Paul Wandtke (Drums) and Angel Paz (Guitar 1).

Diario de Pontevedra, a Spanish newspaper, published an article about our Rock of Ages lead guitar player Angel Paz and included a photo of our band. This is “Arsenal” for the 2014 Rock of Ages at NCL New York.

We’ve had a great run as the 80’s Arsenal band on this show. A lot of work, but totally worth it and a stunning cast to work with both on and off the stage. Now, if I can only figure out what the article actually says…

PAN scores completed

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The scripts and scores are completed for my latest musical – “PAN” (http://www.PanMusical.com). Even though the show had a community theater premiere in Sept. 2013, the follow-up process of completing the scores is very intense. Edits to script and score from the live run have to be incorporated. Tech notes, alternate melodies, clarifications to script and tech, and the never ending process of adding as much complete information as possible to the final orchestral score.

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Auditions Oct. 7-8, 2014 Romeo and Juliet the musical

Romeo & Juliet Auditions Oct. 7-8, 2014

Auditions for Conrad Askland’s Romeo and Juliet the musical will be October 7-8, 2014 at the Historic Lincoln Theatre in Mount Vernon, WA. Visit www.RJMusical.com to sign up for auditions.

This show will be a world premiere with an all new musical score set to the original words of William Shakespeare. Directed by Joe Bowen and presented by META Performing Arts. This live musical version of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet will run Jan. 30 – Feb. 15, 2015 at the Lincoln Theatre in Mount Vernon, WA.

There will be NO participation fees for this particular production.

C.L. Askland’s Romeo and Juliet opera scored on an Akai LPK25

My upcoming musical theater opera, “Romeo and Juliet” was written with an Akai LPK25 two-octave USB keyboard. What? Muahaha, yes! In retrospect kind of hard to fathom, but there she is. I did all the music composition and beginning orchestration sketches in the Officer’s Bar of a cruise ship on my off time. The Akai LPK25 keyboard has convenient octave switching buttons on the side so I was able to easily navigate through bass and treble parts for fairly effortless composing. It was only a little tedious when doing soprano vocal lines; that’s when I really wish I had that extra octave. But hey, writing an opera on a two octave keyboard that fits in my computer bag – I’ll take that! Thank you Akai for an awesome product!

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Upcoming Musicals and Writing Projects

After the run of my latest musical, “PAN” (http://www.PanMusical.com), I’ve escaped to Europe and the Bahamas to perform, reflect and work on new projects. I love the different musical influences, especially Rome, Italy and Greece where I stumbled upon a concept for a new musical theater work that is dark and engaging.

Now in the Bahamas, I can’t really say that the musical influences of the tropical islands apply to my projects much, unless you need Reggae or club dance music ideas. But it’s good for relaxing and I’ve enjoyed the beaches and tropical locations with my compadres including Nassau, Belize, Grand Cayman, Cozumel, Honduras and Jamaica.

So, to current projects: Yes, it’s true that I am working on a musical adaptation of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.

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ENNW Magazine Review of C.L. Askland’s “PAN the musical”

The review is in for C.L. Askland’s “PAN the musical” world premiere!

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From reviewer Lily Olason from Entertainment News Northwest Magazine:

“Askland creates more magic”

“…spectacular musicianship”

“…this show delights believers of any age”

“Askland’s take on the Neverlandian pirate troupe is excellent”

“Captain Hook (Peter Whited) is delightfully menacing”

“Throughout, the musicality and original score stuns”

“It’s as much fun to watch the show as to listen”

“The aesthetics of this show…are a knockout”

“Choreographed fabulously by Glynna Goff”

“Forty-year-olds will love this as much as their third-grader”

“It is certainly appropriate for kids”

PAN the musical “asks the big questions, it makes you think, and hands you a mirror”

“Pan: The Musical is a local, skilled and professional-caliber production with a big heart”

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Press Release: PAN the musical world premiere

August 6, 2013 – Mount Vernon, WA:
PAN the musical world premiere will run Sept. 20 – Oct. 6, 2013 at the Lincoln Theater in Mount Vernon, WA.

Click Here to Buy Tickets Now

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Peter Pan comes to life with a cast over 40 strong in this live musical stage production. Fun audience interaction, melodramatic suspense, vaudeville gags and high brow musical theater combine to delight adults and children alike. Share this classic tale with your family while you help Peter Pan and the Lost Boys defeat the Pirates of Neverland.

A world premiere musical by Conrad Askland. Directed by Joe Bowen and presented by META Performing Arts. An interactive family friendly experience. The classic story for a new generation.

PAN the musical 2013 trailer

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PAN 2013 Performance Dates

Friday, Sep 20, 7:00 pm
Saturday, Sep 21, 7:00 pm
Sunday, Sep 22, 2:00 pm
Friday, Sep 27, 7:00 pm
Saturday, Sep 28, 2:00 pm
Sunday, Sep 29, 2:00 pm
Thursday, Oct 3, 7:00 pm
Friday, Oct 4, 7:00 pm
Saturday, Oct 5, 7:00 pm
Sunday, Oct 6, 2:00 pm
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Reserved seating ticket prices: $20, $17, $15, and $10 available now plus a special $10 bargain show on Thursday, Oct. 3, 7:00 pm – all seats first come first served night of the performance – tickets available two hours prior to curtain.

Fair warning: The first couple rows may get wet!

Sibelius – Part Name Prints Over Header Title on Subsequent Pages

In Sibelius notation software there’s a great feature where part names automatically print at the top of each page. Unfortunately this is also where your song title and subtitle are placed by default. The end result is that at the top header of each page over the first title page, the part title (full score, keyboard/vocal, trombone, etc.) prints on top of the title text and makes it all unreadable. The part name clashes on top of the title header text.

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What’s it like to be a musician on a cruise ship

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I played piano in the show band on the RCCL Navigator of the Seas from June 9 thru July 14, 2013. Ports of call included Rome, Sicily, Athens Crete and Ephesus (Turkey). This was my first time doing a cruise ship gig and it was a fun experience.

So what’s it like working as a musician on a cruise ship? I had read a lot of horror stories online so I was prepared for the worst. But you know what, it was pretty fun! Much better than I had anticipated.

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On Writing, Editing and Revisions

At present I am totally immersed in the writing, editing and revision process for several musical theater shows. It is exciting, depressing, grueling, tedious and ultimately the most fulfilling of all possible worlds for me. Several other writers have bared their souls on the writing process so I thought I’d share a little of my own experience.

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Basic Drum Notation Tips

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I’ve just had the very frustrating experience of scoring the drum part for half of an entire musical theater score, and doing it wrong. Arghh! I got some bad advice so I’m posting some clarification here for other arrangers that are new to scoring drum parts. Hopefully this will save you some headaches.

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