'When You're a Jet You're a Jet': The Almond Brothers Take on 'West Side Story'

Jun 8, 2018

MSO Concertmaster Frank Almond
Credit Jennifer Brindley

This weekend, the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra accompanies the Academy Award®-winning motion picture West Side Story live on stage at the Marcus Center.

West Side Story opened on Broadway in 1957 and the film premiered in 1961. The music was written by Leonard Bernstein - it's one of his most famous works. It's syncopated, lush, and rhythmic and Bernstein included elements of jazz, latin, and pure Broadway show tunes. Because of that, the score requires more percussion than a symphony usually has, including a set of drums like you’d find in a jazz or rock and roll band.

Drummer Cliff Almond
Credit Cliff Almond / Facebook

And that’s how the MSO’s concertmaster Frank Almond found himself performing this weekend with his younger brother Cliff - who is an accomplished professional drummer. They joined Lake Effect's Bonnie North in studio to talk about what it’s like to play such a complex score.