Friday, July 27, 2012

So how did the big concert go...?

The 'short' report--the concert went extremely well. Easily the biggest crowd since we took it over (used to include members from all the orchestras in the state). Probably close to 17K. There wasn't a cloud in the sky all day Saturday--literally. I've never seen it like that. Temps were a bit warm for my liking. Mid-90s or higher. Cooled to upper 70s as the sun went down. Fireworks were timed with the music about as perfectly as possible. I was nex to the pyro guy to cue him. Never been that close to big fireworks before. Actually got to see them in their 3D perfection. And they were directly above us. Sort of a culmination of a 55 y.o. wet dream.

That's the public perception of the concert. Personally, I'd grade it about an 82. The two things I didn't have control over were the weather and the volunteers. The weather was fine. The volunteers were lacking in numbers. Directly due to the girl that was hired to be volunteer coordinator (I had no say in it--she's the daughter of a friend of the conductor). Totally overwhelmed and unprepared. Figured she could get volunteers a week before the concert. Should have been lined up at least a month earlier. To her credit, she worked her bottom off (her volleyball shorts-clad bottom) on Saturday, and we got through it. Not sure if we'll use her again next year or not. Now that she's experienced it once, she might do better the next time. And she does have some assets, but there's also some liabilities with her too. We'll see. On the other hand, I was referred to a girl who just graduated HS to be my assistant for the weekend. No official duties--just to be a gofer, and be at my side at all times to take care of whatever might come up. Lordy, I hit the jackpot! I cannot sing her praises loud enough. She will be hired next year. Added benefit? She's a hottie! :-D

There were some other internal things that were problematic. Things that have been routine for years that went out of whack for whatever reason. Things that you can only shrug your shoulders at and hope that they get caught for next year's planning. But all of these things were things that the anal perfectionist in me didn't want to see. From the public standpoint, it was a fantastic success, and those higher up than me have said that this was the most well-run summer concert ever. So that boosted the ego. I hope they remember that when I demand twice the money next year.

The downside of being in charge is that I didn't have the time to take pictures at all. Which I'm bummed about. I did take my 35mm with me and took a couple of shots, but I still have pics with BFD on there from the first of the month, so I'm not sure when I'll finish the roll. There won't be anything earth-shattering on there anyway. But both the symphony and the college had photographers there, so you can see their pics:
Symphony photographer
College photographer

One of the great successes we had was the partnership we have with Helena Food Share. We started it three years ago when someone suggested that the public bring canned goods to hold down their blankets during the day (blankets start getting laid down 48 hrs before the concert!). The college doesn't allow stakes or rocks anymore, as they get left behind and ruin the mowers, or the stakes have punctured irrigation lines. Then Food Share collects the cans during and after the show. The first year they were totally unprepared, and got about 5,000 pounds of food. But they were happy. This year, they gathered 11,845 pounds!! That's almost SIX TONS!! We are their single largest collection event now. And talk about good PR for us!
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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Checking in...

Hey! I'm alive!
Concert is Saturday. (don't know if the link works for non-FBers, but go here!)
I literally only have the five minutes available to post this small post.
This has been one of the most rewarding things I've done with the Symphony, and more work than I've ever done for the organization. People are recognizing the effort, and frankly, that feels pretty good. Now if I can just get that translated into some more $$...
Hope to have some pics up next week!

(how the hell did I find the time to do HNT???)

Monday, July 9, 2012


As mentioned last week, I took a little pre-4th road trip to meet up with a friend, former HNTer, and all-around hottie. Not much of a secret now, if you've been to either of our Facebook pages. It was the always lovely BFD! I'm not entirely sure why she's so shy here, but the picture on the map is of Mammoth Hot Springs in Yellowstone Park, where we first started the afternoon! Trust me, she looks great! I, on the other hand, hate having to squint...

There was hiking, there was sight-seeing, there was driving, there was lots of wind, lots of sun and lots of laughs. Of course, it wasn't just her--the whole family was with her, so I got to meet her hubby and the kids. Took me back to the days of family vacations when I was a kid. Though I think my siblings and I were far less behaved... was a great break for me, and hopefully I didn't make too bad of an impression! Thanks, BFD and family!
I'm just over 10 days to the big concert. My only real concerns are getting enough volunteers (which I'm assured will be just fine), vendors (it really shouldn't be this hard to fill my last three spots), and the weather (which I have no control over, so why worry?). The weather should actually be hot and dry, which isn't so bad--just puts the fireworks up in the air (so to speak). If we don't get a few days of cool or rain, we might not get to do them. Fingers are still crossed though. The good part is that someone else makes that call (fire marshal), so I'm off the hook for blame!

The rest of the concert is shaping up to be pretty good. Go check out the FB page if you haven't been there yet!
Wish I had something more exciting to share. This concert prep has literally consumed every waking moment, which is why the trip to see BFD was so wonderful. Hopefully in a couple of weeks I'll get back into the swing of things!