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:
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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