By Heidi Glaus

ST. LOUIS (KSDK) - They are the people you hear, but rarely see. More than 20 talented musicians who this time of year are busier than a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs.

"I picked up my part on Monday," explained Fariga Drayton, cellist in The Muny orchestra.

It's not a lot of time to wrap their hands around the music. As a matter of fact, they only rehearse together three times before opening night.

"They've been doing this for decades. They get music maybe a few days in advance, practice it at home for several hours and then come here and just read through it," added Tova Braitberg, first chair violin.

Most of these musicians play every show of the season.

"So we're playing seven nights a week with one show plus rehearsing for the next show at the same time," Braitberg explained.

And in case you were wondering it's no cooler in the orchestra pit than it is in the seats.

"Sometimes when you have a break you're trying to take a drink of water, trying to stay cool, trying to keep those hands dry and trying to pay attention because there's so much going on," Drayton said.

Not only do the musicians need to know their parts and pay attention to the music director, but they also have to be ready for anything.

"There's an old story about a sword coming into the pit and coming through somebody's cello," Braitberg said.

This is after all live musical theater, where the show must go on. It just so happens there's another show you don't get to see happening in the pit.