• Drum Set and Percussion Setups from Musical Theatre and More

Avenue Q - Off-Broadway - Joe Choroszewski

Joe’s drum set setup for the Off-Broadway production of Avenue Q at New World Stages in New York City.

“Avenue Q is the trendsetting first show of its kind to immediately transfer to a smaller Off-Broadway production following a Broadway run. My friend Michael Croiter played the original Broadway run of six years, where I frequently subbed for him. I then inherited the show, as I was hired for this production at New World Stages. My setup similarly reflects what Michael had at the Golden Theatre, but is also a bit streamlined and configured to fit the available space.

My current instrumentation includes:

Yamaha Oak Custom Drums (York Honey Amber Oak finish): 17x20 BD, 8x10 ST, 9x12 MT, 14x15 FT on legs.

Pearl Sensitone Brass 5x14 snare drum.

Cymbals (L-R): 14" Avedis Zildjian New Beat Hi Hats, 16" Sabian HHX Manhattan Jazz Crash, 9" Zildjian Oriental Trash Splash, 12" Sabian AAX Splash, 21" Sabian AAX Raw Bell Dry Ride, 17" Sabian Hand Hammered Thin Crash, 18" Avedis Zildjian China Boy (High), 12" Sabian AAX Mini Chinese, and a 6" Zildjian Zil-Bel.

Percussion: LP Granite Blocks, Miller Machines for both triangle and finger cymbal (which play a 4" Abel triangle and a Zildjian finger cymbal, respectively), Tama Mini-Tymps (steel toms 6" & 8"), LP TreeWorks Mark Tree, LP Vibra-Slap, Steve Weiss "Sleigh Ride Special" 24" Slapstick, LP Rock Cowbell, LP Cyclops Tambourine, LP Black Beauty Cowbell, Rhythm Tech EGGZ Egg Shakers, Steve Weiss Bell Tree, Acme Siren Whistle, Acme Slide Whistle, and a Toca Ratchet (mounted on its side via Pearl clamp)

Hardware: Pearl ICON rack, Tama Iron Cobra bass pedal, and a varied mix of Pearl, Tama, DW, Rhythm Tech, and Yamaha mounting hardware. Aside from the rack, the Mark Tree is on a cymbal stand for positioning reasons, and the tambourine is on its own cymbal stand due to its ‘responsiveness’.

Heads: Remo CS Coated on snare, Remo Coated Emperors on tom batters, Remo Clear Ambassadors on tom resonants, and Remo Clear Powerstroke 3 on bass drum.

A few notes about the set-up...

-The Miller Machines were something I chose to employ for this production, and were not used previously. They create tremendous ease for certain musical numbers in which we used to do some demanding beater switches.

-The steel toms are actually there to cover parts written for bongos. I was specifically told to not bring bongos, as the production did not want to incur the fee of the double. I didn't want to lose the written parts though, so I created a sound that was comparable.

-An example of streamlining the setup is seen with the use of the LP Granite Blocks. That instrument covers parts written for both temple blocks and wood block.

Thanks for checking out my setup and please come to see our fantastic production here at New World Stages!”

And here’s Joe’s YouTube page with some fun performances and lessons. Also check out his website.