On December 7th, we finally had our Winter Gala concert after several months of preparation. With over 180 individual performers and 22 performances, it was the culmination of a ton of effort on everyone who was involved part’s. For the Gala, I did both backstage crew and concert band. I had been doing concert band since it started in late August, while I chose to do backstage crew after being told that they desperately needed people.
While I was semi-confident for the concert band portion that I had been working on for several months, I was quite worried about the backstage crew. It would certainly be a challenge for me, as I had never done a backstage-crew like thing before.Since we had only 2 days of dress rehearsals to actually practice what we were going to do, everyone involved was quite nervous. Nobody in our team had done backstage crew before, but we all collaborated well to learn what was needed.
Concert band was near the opposite, with me and the other members having adequate time to prepare only one item. Despite that, I was still moderately worried. While it wasn’t my first concert, it was some members’, and sometimes the excitement can impact playing, mainly the tempo. This would have been especially problematic due to the fact that we were playing alongside a video montage that was set to the music ahead of time, meaning we had to be very precise with our timings.
The night of the Gala arrived quickly, almost too quickly it felt. Everything had been done to get ready for it, the only thing between us and our time to shine was the warm up session, also flying by it felt. The Gala started, and the concert band walked on stage and kicked it off. While I wasn’t a huge fan of the music we played, we did a great job and were perfectly in sync with the video, even more so than in the dress rehearsals. After taking our bows and walking off of stage, I proceeded to take off at full sprint to the green room. Because of my position in backstage crew, I was one of the people assigned with moving the piano right after the concert band finished, meaning I didn’t have time to change out of my concert attire. After dropping off my instrument, I ran back on stage and helped to move the piano.
After the semi-chaotic first transition, it calmed down significantly. The acts came and went one by one, and it was quite fun to help them out back stage with setup and other random things. Soon enough the concert drew to a close without event, and we went home that evening on a job pretty well done.
While it certainly wasn’t perfect, it worked well. I feel we could have played more pieces for concert band and been a little faster during transitions for the backstage crew. I fully plan on doing backstage crew again and continuing for concert band though, and now with some experience, I’m really excited for the spring Gala.
(Top: Ending Group Photo, Right: Moving the piano, Left: Concert Band playing)