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Symphony Success

Last night, the fam jam attended the 33rd annual Broadway Under the Stars concert at the Shakespeare Festival. If you've never been, you've been missing out. Maestro Tom Hinds and his crew of talented musicians entertained us with several gorgeous medleys from cherished musicals. The weather was pleasant. The crowd was receptive. It was a lovely night.

My momma is in the symphony group, guild, club... I'm not exactly sure what it's called to be honest. What I do know is that she volunteered to be in charge of the table decorations. She's nuts. You see, this also meant that the entire fam jam was signed up to report for duty, like it or not. If you know anything about my mom, she is incapable of doing anything simply. (My "extra" is 100% from her) I knew a small flower arrangement and a couple of votives were not going to be enough. I've lived 50 years with Supermomma and that would never do.

She obtained the set list early and we went to work ordering items that went along with the musicals to be represented. Keep in mind that there is no budget for said decorations. This was all out of pocket. We bought oriental fans for "Flower Drum Song", "top hats for "Chorus Line", mountains with Austrian flags for "Sound of Music", dice for "Porgy and Bess", roses in cylinders for "Beauty and the Beast". You get the picture, she went all out. They were placed over fabric adorned with musical scores along with hurricane lamps, Chinese lanterns and candles. She rolled up some of my dad's sheet music and tied it with black ribbon. She ran all over town making sure every item was crossed off of her list. Was it over the top? Absolutely. It was also very festive. That woman loves a theme.

We were given our marching orders the day of the concert. The August afternoon heat was terrible. The amazing volunteers worked feverishly to complete the vision. The sun tried to thwart our efforts, but we pressed on. No-one passed out. We took breaks under a tent for relief from time to time, guzzled water, and finished the job in time to get a shower before attending the event that evening. Success! Momma was happy.

One can never understand what goes into planning an event such as this until you've worked behind the scenes. The symphony orchestra doesn't just show up and play. They have to practice long before the show. Caterers and decorators also plan months in advance. Tickets and parking passes are printed, tables are sold and assigned, sound equipment is set up, tables and chairs are delivered and put out. This is no small task, and most of the work is done by volunteers who do not get paid for their time. Not one dime. God bless them for their unselfish contributions to our city.

We are lucky to have those who support the arts and understand the importance of providing free concerts for the community. Everyone is invited bring a lawn chair and a picnic, and enjoy incredible music in a perfect setting. I pray this tradition is never taken away from Montgomery. I hope others will sign up to help in the future. I encourage everyone to attend next year. The "Sound of Music" sing-a-long is reason enough to come, plus you'll add a little culture to your life. In this day of technology and instant gratification, it's good for the soul to sit still for a couple of hours and simply listen to beautiful music.

Bravo, Montgomery Symphony! Bravo!

Put it on your calendar for next year!

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