With a Tony Award winner in the cast, Sara Ramirez, it’s no surprise she receives the bulk of the solos on the drama’s first musical episode. As Dr. Callie Torres, she sings lead on Kate Havnevik’s “Grace” and Brandi Carlile’s “The Story” and shares lead duties with Jessica Capshaw on KT Tunstall’s “Universe & U.” The show will feature nine songs closely associated with the show.
Chandra Wilson, who starred in “Caroline, or Change” on Broadway, sings lead on Get Set Go’s “Wait.” Only one of the songs, Gomez’s “How We Operate,” will feature a lead male voice, that of Kevin McKidd who portrays Dr. Owen Hunt.
The ensemble of Ramirez, McKidd, Daniel Sunjata, Scott Foley, Justin Chambers, Chandra Bailey, Kim Raver and Jessica Capshaw gets two numbers: “How to Save a Life” and Jesus Jackson’s “Running On Sunshine.”
A video of Ramirez, who won her acting Tony for the musical “Spamalot,” McKidd and Bailey singing Snow Patrol’s “Chasing Cars” is featured in a promo for the drama. The show returns to original episodes March 24.
The show’s creator Shonda Rhimes and director Tony Phelan had the songs selected and written into a script in November when Chris Horvath was brought in a music director. He spent about two months on arrangements and rehearsing musicians; the vocals were recorded over four days.
“When we started I knew we had four people who had serious vocal talent, some had a little bit of experience and some had barely sung in the shower,” Horvath tells Billboard. “There was some pushback from some of the cast … but I was impressed by how everybody responded.”
Jessica Capshaw, for example, worked with a vocal coach and came up “with some really cool qualities” in her voice, Horvath said. He was also impressed with Chyler Leigh, another non-singer.
Horvath, a composer, producer and arranger, is putting the finishing touches on the soundtrack, which will be digitally available on March 31.