Last night I attended the Town Hall meeting the Symphony orchestra has. This meeting reminds me of meetings I attended when I worked in an office. There’s a section that covers the financials of the orchestra and tracks the improvement in the financial data. This is good news because not too many years ago the orchestra was having real financial problems which required the orchestra members to take pay cuts, etc. Happily, that doesn’t seem to be the case any more. The new president (he’s been here maybe three years) seems to have brought a real knowledge of running the business side of the orchestra to things.
The next section of the meeting covers upcoming events … orchestra series, guest soloists, programs other than the classical ones most people think of when they hear “symphony.” Then the conductor joins the president and they discuss the upcoming programs and take questions from the audience. Comment was made about the program with a local FM radio station that broadcasts the Saturday evening concerts live. The man from the radio station said the number of their listeners on Saturday evenings has gone up by thousands since they started doing that.
All this serious stuff is followed by a reception in the lobby. In other years, there has been a long table or two of goodies to munch on. I was, therefore, taken aback when I walked into the lobby and saw only one round table … and not a big table at that. The caterer knew how many would be attending so I had to assume that was enough food. I discovered one way to make it so was to provide small dessert size paper plates. There was a big tray piled high with dollar sandwiches, skewers with a cherry tomato, a small piece of cheese and a basil leaf on them, there were some other raw vegetables and a big bowl of two kinds of olives. The only dip seemed to be hummas and there was a flat Mediterrean style of bread cut in squares to dip in it.
So, all in all, it was an educational and sort of fun evening even though I saw no one I knew there.