Original post at http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/LakeNeuron/~3/w3zYPmOHWz0/
As regular readers here know, one of the great passions of my life has been the Symphony at the Celebration concert, which brings the Grammy Award-winning Nashville Symphony to Shelbyville each year for a family-friendly concert.
The first concert was in 1989. The first couple of concerts were sponsored by a local manufacturer, but after that one of our local banks took over. The late Scott McDonald, president of that bank, put together a local steering committee for the concert and asked me to serve on it. I’ve been a member ever since – more than 20 years now. The past few years, I’ve been co-chair of that committee, along with longtime chair Dawn Holley.
For some time now, the concert has featured our local public high school bands (in rotation). The band gets to play a few numbers on its own during the first part of the concert and then returns at the end of the evening to play a couple of pieces in tandem with the symphony, always ending with “The Stars and Stripes Forever.” Traditionally, the high school band’s piccolo player is asked to take the solo.
Prior to the concert, we have the Nashville Symphony’s “instrument petting zoo,” which lets kids pick up and try real instruments under the guidance of trained volunteers. The Motlow College jazz band performs, and there’s an art show on the arena concourse.
Normally, a representative of the primary sponsor gets up at the beginning of the evening, welcomes the crowd and introduces the symphony.
This year, for a variety of reasons, we don’t have a primary sponsor. That means it’s up to either me or Dawn to welcome the crowd. Today, Dawn asked me to do it. I want to do it, and I’m going to do it.
But, here’s the thing. As soon as I welcome the crowd, I will walk right past them and out the doors of Calsonic Arena. You see, our concert happens to fall on Election Night, and with this year’s complex and significant local elections, I and a number of my co-workers will be needed to cover the incoming returns, post them to the web site, interview the winners, and so on. Elections are my beat, my responsibility, and I fully understand that. If I leave the arena right after my introduction, I will get to the county courthouse just as the first precinct returns are coming in.
I know I need to work the election coverage, but it will kill me to miss this year’s concert. The second half of the concert is just dripping with Aaron Copland, one of my favorite composers. We have a new conductor this year, Vinay Parameswaran, and I’m curious to see how he interacts with the crowd. And this year’s high school band is my alma mater, Cascade High School. (I originally thought my percussionist nephew might be participating, but while middle schoolers play in Cascade’s marching band they don’t play in the concert band.)
Dawn and I don’t really have much control over the scheduling of the concert – the Nashville Symphony and the Celebration work that out between them, based on the symphony’s schedule and the availability of Calsonic Arena. We’re just happy that this year’s concert is a week or two earlier than last year’s, which was so close to graduation that it hurt attendance.
Anyway, I’ll get over missing the concert. It is what it is. But I had to vent about it.