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Digital music stand ready for use in orchestra pits

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CHICAGO — David Sitrick says he has just the gift for the orchestra with everything: the digital music stand.

The musician-turned-attorney has had to peer at charts in poorly lit clubs, deal with pages that flap from ventilation fans and search for sheet music for obscure audience requests.

Sitrick once calculated that the musicians spend fully 20 percent of their rehearsal time marking up their scores to fit the conductor's plans.

So Sitrick, 52, created eStand, a digital, self-lighted music stand that displays the music on a screen. The stand is capable of storing 20,000 pages of music in its basic memory. It also allows silent messaging between conductors and the orchestra.

"The eStand will do for sheet music what the typewriter, word processor and desktop publishing did for pen and paper," Perlman said.

The eStand was introduced to a wider audience June 18 at the American Symphony Orchestra League's convention in San Francisco.

Principal violist Jill Fratianne, 22, a graduating senior from Cincinnati, called the system "really cool." But she found one important drawback: They can cost $3,000 to $12,000 apiece.