Sunday, March 13, 2011

Sticky Concert Situation

I thought I had exhausted the possibilities for things that can go wrong with a concert venue, but today’s topped them all. Our program this afternoon had been rescheduled twice, and moved to a time to assure the smallest possible audience--the Sunday before a college’s Spring Break. On top of that there was a chance that the building wouldn’t have light and heat because of a scheduled (and then rescheduled) power outage on campus. Never mind. I came armed with stand lights, a sweater, and a sense of adventure.

What a surprise it was to hear the sound of the heating system, and to feel that the building wasn't cold. It was even a bit toasty inside. We thought all was well until John David noticed that one of the piano keys was sticking. It was sticking because the inside of the piano showed evidence of something sticky having been spilled on it. Nobody wanted to reach in and taste it, but it looked like pancake syrup to me. It was all over the hammers and the strings, causing some notes not to sound at all. We couldn’t figure out how something like this might have happened, and certainly couldn’t understand why anybody would spill syrup inside a baby grand piano.

We had to find a new location for the concert. Luckily we had an understanding audience, and everyone waited patiently while we tried to contact university administrators (who were mostly out of town) to see if we could find another hall with a piano on campus.

Suddenly our page turner came to the rescue. Her father happens to be the pastor of a local church, and the church happens to have one of the better pianos in town. She called him, and everyone hied over to the church. We began the program only 30 minutes behind schedule: a triumph of music over syrup.

Oh the struggles of trying to arrange performances of music by women.

UPDATE: You can hear the Tailleferre here:

Tailleferre Allegro non troppo
Tailleferre Adagietto
Tailleferre Allegro

and the Pejacsevich here:

Pejacsevich Allegro
Pejacsevich Andante
Pejacsevich Allegro molto

and the Boulanger encore:

Boulanger Nocturne

If you would like to hear a recording of the whole concert, send me an email message, and I’ll send you an invitation to a dropbox folder with the a recording of the rest of the concert and a PDF of the program.


Rachel said...

What a story! I'll be listening to the concert this week--very excited to enjoy it!

Anonymous said...

"Tailleferre Allegro" - thanks for posting, and congratulations. Placing the mike further from the piano might be good, next outing. If I were near, I would have brought equipment....

The other links all failed for us. Wonder why.

It's an interesting question to contemplate. Some folks are putting up their things to hear, and others don't. Bandwith issues? Web server restrictions?