When Guthrie came back to direct Twelfth Night in 1957, he wanted The Elizabethan Singers again. However, they were not all available. Guthrie also wanted a different look in Twelfth Night from the elegant, gowned household musicians to Portia that The Elizabethans had portrayed just two years before. Guthrie decided on ragged street musicians. He thought that they would contrast to the elegant court rather than repeat the more elegant court singer/musician idea from Merchant.
Guthrie called Gordon Scott, the leader of The Elizabethans who was also Organist/Choir Master at St. John’s United Church. Gordon led a Junior Choir of 40 plus voices that won awards at Music Festivals in Toronto and throughout Sothern Ontario. He had recruited and trained the boy sopranos for Merry Wives in 1956. Guthrie held Gordon in high esteem, and when Gordon agreed to lead and be one of the street musicians, he was also tasked with recruiting three others.
Gordon called Audrey Conroy, pianist, piano teacher and fellow Elizabethan Singer member, to join him. She called Cam Trowsdale, violin, who was studying advanced music at the University of Toronto but who still called Stratford home. Finally, Ed Oscapella, music teacher and viola player, was also invited.
Gord Conroy remembers rehearsals at his home: Audrey, Gordon and Ed had to learn to play recorders. The new recorders they bought were stripped down by the Festival props department to remove their shine. Audrey played soprano and alto; Gordon was tenor, Ed was bass. Cam played alternately violin or drum in the scenes for the street musicians.
Gord, Audrey's son, remembers it was a hoot to listen to them rehearse. The breath control and fingering for half stops to made sharps and flats and the whole technique of playing up an octave or down was not easy to learn. And if they made a mistake and laughed into the recorder, the sound shrieked up an octave...and they laughed more. Lots of laughter and learning usually at Audrey’s home on Water Street. Cam played the drum in one scene and the violin in another though Gord seems to remember that he plucked the violin rather than bowing it.