Thursday, October 20, 2005

HNT Mystery Guest V

I haven't had much of a chance to post (or even communicate) over the past couple of days. I'm getting frustrated in my job with the Symphony. Well, I've always been frustrated, but it's gotten worse. A little history--the Symphony celebrated its 50th anniversary last season. For a vast majority of that time, it's been tolerated as a nice cultural group. A place for music lovers to get together and play, but not worry about getting fired or replaced. Because it's a volunteer group, you have to do a little back-bending to keep people happy. About 4 years ago, we had a nationwide search to find a new conductor. We've got one now who is decades wiser and more knowledgeable than his 35 years would imply. He actually wants to make us a legitimate performing group! There's a concept that's new around here!

So what has he done? In this, his third season, he's increased the budget 300%, increased season ticket sales almost 350%, increased audience size by at least 300%, corporate sponsorships have skyrocketed, and he has elevated the status of the Symphony around the state to being one of the best. By using most of the same musicians as before. And without the benefit of a local university music department to draw musicians from. So what's the problem? Dealing with musicians who question everything he does. Who commit to playing, then have something "come up", or pick and choose which concerts they want to play. Excuse me--if I make the team, do I get to tell the coach which games/practices I'm going to show up for?? Same thing here. Too many years of being a social group, not a performing group. I can't wait for the musicians to be paid (which will be phased in next season). Funny how a little cash will improve one's approach!

So what does any of this have to do with HNT?? Absolutely nothing. Other than allowing me to vent and sort of explain my lack of posts this week. This week's Mystery Guest was the favorite of the committee, though personally, I was hoping for a different one (no offense to this week's winner). Yes, I bowed to peer pressure this week....

Updates since I drafted this earlier today--Astros are in the Series! Nice to have something good happen to the Houston area! Also--a whole slew of early posters tonight. Check out the comments to the prior post to see who's already up!

Have a great HNT this week! I'll be checking all of you soon!

One more thing--I'm getting my 50,000th visitor sometime in the next hour. No promises of a prize, but you never know!
It was brought to my attention that HNT is exactly 5 months old tonight! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!
Well, it took about 2 1/2 hours from the time that I called it, but I've surpassed the 50,000 visitor mark! Many thanks to all of you! This is the person who hit #50,000. Doesn't look like they spent any time here, but they came here from Addict's site, and they live in the Pacific time zone (not Denver). Anyone recognize this IP address? Is this you Emily? Click on the picture to make it a little bigger. Let me know!

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