Monday, July 20, 2009

Weekend Recap

Once again, another success! From beginning to end, starting Friday morning, things went smoother than they ever have, even with a couple of major glitches. Maybe it's the experience of previous years, or maybe I'm able to go with the flow better. I don't know. Interestingly, the glitches that did happen were things that the symphony and the college weren't involved in.

There were two things wrong with the stage. We have used the same stage company from Kansas for all six of our concerts. And when signing a contract with them, it was somewhat assumed that we would keep the status quo. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, some things didn't get packed on the truck. Namely a second set of stairs for the stage, and the scrim (basically, the black netting that acts as a back curtain). Both items that we've used for all prior concerts. We were able to rig a second set of steps, but we had nothing to use for a scrim. At the worst, we could have done without, but it would have caused visual problems, both for the audience and the conductor. So a call was placed to the company, and they apologized, and spent over $500 to overnight the scrim to us. That was all well and good, but that also meant that on Saturday afternoon, the stage basically had to be half taken apart so that the roof could be lowered and the scrim attached. Remarkably, this only took about 45 minutes! And was relatively painless! But we learned that future contracts will need to have an itemized list of necessities!

The other problems happened during the concert. We had four vocal soloists, and there were a couple of times that the sound guy missed turning on individual mics. And the fireworks, even though they were spectacular and no one really noticed, they were not in sync with the music, nor even started on time. And they ended early. But like I said, only a small handful of people had any idea.

As for the concert itself, the performance was pretty close to flawless. Much better than last year's. The theme of the concert was "Some Enchanted Evening", and featured the music of Rogers and Hammerstein. Songs from "Oklahoma", "South Pacific", "Carousel", "The King & I" and some others. Bordering close on becoming a "pops" concert, but not quite. The audience loved it. I couldn't hear it, but I heard that there was alot of singing along! In addition to the orchestra and the soloists, I also had to fit a 40+-voice choir, which I'm happy to say, actually fit! All in all, the performers were happy, the audience was happy, and the weekend was a total success.

One of the really remarkable things to see at this event are the blankets. The concert was set for 8:30 Saturday night. This picture was taken in the early afternoon on Friday. People claim a spot, set their blankets, and come back on Saturday afternoon, and it's still theirs! Montanans are just too damned trusting, I tell ya!

These other two pictures give you a sense of the concert atmosphere. The one from stage is mine, the one from the audience is one I found on Flickr. As I ask every year...can you find me?

(click 'em to big 'em!)

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