So, loyal readers, if any, there was a big meeting of the organising committee last evening. Yes, I know how uninteresting that sounds, and yes, you’re right, it was all the usual stuff: publicity, programmes, ticket prices, budgets and so forth. Well I say “the usual stuff” as if we all organise concerts like this every second week but the truth is I’m not sure anyone involved has been involved in organising anything this big and complicated and expensive before (although my daughter’s wedding runs it a close second I suppose.) All of which goes towards explaining the air of quiet purposeful excitement bubbling not far below the surface of a meeting that, the way I’ve described it, should have been rather mundane and dull. It really wasn’t.
Part of the reason everyone’s having so much fun is definitely a sense of joy in being involved in a shared project that brings together four otherwise quite separate choirs, two of which more commonly meet in the competition arena at Leith Hill. Collaboration, if you have good collaboratees, is terrific.
Also hidden in the excitement, to be frank, is a certain amount of barely contained trepidation. This is driven by a recognition that there’s an awful lot of money at stake. All the choirs have shown enormous commitment to this project and an optimism and belief which in these penny-pinching times seems to have rather gone out of fashion, but there’s no ignoring the fact that this is a high stakes game for charitable organisations that normally operate on a much smaller scale.
But we don’t dwell too much on the fear aspect of the thing. Instead we talked happily and excitedly about radio interviews, sellling advertising space, distributing leaflets, whether to have a retiring collection, whether to have a “launch party” for the project (answer: yes) and if so when (answer: Sept 1st) and where (answer: er…hmm). On the musical side we chatted about the English Festival Orchestra (of which more in a later blog) and the soloists (ditto) and the combined rehearsal and the Ricordi edition and the Performing Arts Library and, oh gosh I don’t know what else. I can see I’m boring you now but honestly it was just all great because everyone is just so up for it. You should have seen their little faces. Mine too.
But nobody left the meeting in any doubt about one thing: we’ve got to sell tickets. Lots and lots of them. Really lots. And to do that we need to get several hundred other people as excited and fired up about this project as the folks on the committee. So how about it, dear reader? Anything stirring yet?