During her time at IU, Ritter accompanied the Grammy-nominated Singing Hoosiers, traveled the country with the IU Drumline and performed on the Musical Arts Center stage for a number of concerts and operas.
Last summer, Ritter performed as the drummer for the Mac-Haydn Theater in Chatham, New York. She has played in over thirty states and many countries including Finland, Estonia and Latvia.
Tickets to hear Ritter and the rest of the band perform in “An Officer and a Gentleman” are on sale. Prices start at $16 for IU students and are $28 for all other attendees.
IDS: How has touring with the band for “An Officer and a Gentleman” been so far?
Ritter: It’s been great. I have been with the show since September. We started rehearsals in New York City, and we began touring in October. I’ve done the show a little over 60 times, and I’m going to do the show in total about 180 times. We’ve made a little bit of a dent, but it’s been really good. Obviously, it’s a big change from being in college.
IDS: What was your initial reaction when you were asked to audition for the band in the show?
Ritter: So, I was supposed to be at IU as a student this year. This is actually my senior year. This past year during my junior year, I got an email in March from the music director here at Jacobs, and he asked me if I was interested in auditioning for the national tour of “An Officer and a Gentleman.”
As a drummer and a Jacobs School of Music student, I, of course, freaked out and immediately responded that day with my resume and a reel of me drumming. The last day of classes in April, I got a call from the contractor and she offered me the job. So it was pretty surreal, it being the last day of school and realizing I won’t be here next year.
I’m still in the learning phase. I’m still a student at heart. I haven’t really finished my academics. But, I’m learning so much that I didn’t really learn in music school from being on this tour.
IDS: Do you have plans to re-enroll after the tour and finish your degree?
Ritter: Since it’s a new musical, it has a timestamp of a start and end date. So we’re going to be touring until the first week of June, and we actually finish in South Bend, Indiana, which is kind of funny. If all goes as planned and we finish the tour in June like we’re supposed to, I was hoping to drive down to Bloomington right after. Thankfully, Jacobs is super accommodating. The advisors there said I could finish my degree during an 8-week session this summer. That’s my goal.
IDS: How do you feel about coming back to Bloomington for the tour?
Ritter: I’m so stoked. It’s one night, but I’m like, “Gosh, I wish we had a week.” The fact that we’re there is everything to me. Especially this year, there are only a handful of Broadway shows coming to the IU Auditorium. So the fact that one of them is mine is awesome. With all of my friends and professors coming and the Jacobs school support, it’s going to be surreal for sure.