Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Summer of My Geek

OK, I've been getting my inner geek on pretty good the past week or so. First, I mentioned the Discovery Channel's When We Left Earth: The NASA Missions, which chronicled the space missions from the test pilot days, through the current shuttle missions.

Then I geeked a bit with the pictures of Mt. St. Helens under the full moonlight.

Tonight, I'm geeking to the Discovery Channel's In the Shadow of the Moon. Similar to the previous shows, but this one was specifically about the first moon landing, and then a little about the subsequent ones. And finding all sorts of things out. Like the fact that Buzz Aldrin was the first man to pee on the moon. You don't often hear about facts like that. In any case, I've been soaking this stuff up pretty good, because it's going to be a geeky summer.

(follow me here...) You're going to hear me bitch and moan over the next 3-4 weeks about the symphony's summer concert in mid-July. Those of you who have been around will remember that this is the free concert attended by around 15,000 people, and we expect possibly more this year. The concert is themed "Out of This World!"--playing music that is associated with space and planets and the like. Yep, more geek! Alot of recognizable John Williams music, the fanfare from Strauss' Also Sprach Zarathustra! ("2001: A Space Odyssey" theme), and perhaps my favorite piece of music, Gustav Holst's The Planets. For this presentation, we wanted to get some sort of person that could perform a narration between movements.

We kicked around ideas last fall of what sort of concert we wanted to do, and settled on the space theme. And featuring The Planets, performing it with a narrator. There was alot of "what if" talk going around about whom to contact for that. While there was really only one choice we wanted for the position, we needed to run through some other names to fall back on. Who would we want to have narrate with impact? And be able to keep the space theme. Names on the short list:
(Edit--these people were NOT the first choice...)
James Earl Jones--who wouldn't want to hear that glorious voice?
Patrick Stewart--same thing, though maybe a bit dramatic.
William Shatner--that would be cool, but he tends to be a bit comical, which wouldn't fit.
Leonard Nimoy--he had some definite possibility.
Tom Hanks--would be good, but we could do better.
Ron Howard--has the same fascination with space as I do, but half the audience would be looking at Opie Taylor, the other half at Richie Cunningham.
Tom Brokaw--great voice, and lives in Montana.
David Letterman--too serious for him, but he also lives in Montana. Sometimes.
Sean Connery--has nothing to do with space, but who cares?
Sam Elliott--we'll keep him in mind for a Western concert. Beef. It's what's for dinner.
In the end, we were lucky to get our first choice. He was available (for a well-deserved, hefty fee), and we were able to get a couple of new sponsors to partner up with us to raise the money. This will be the very pinnacle of my geekness. This will be something I'll remember forever. This will be the chance to meet a true hero. Trust me--you're going to hear alot more about this in the coming weeks!

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