Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Sell Out Crowd

Some concerts performances draw a larger audience than others. 

Beethovan's Ninth Symphony is one that draws a sell out crowd.

What a treat to sit in the audience for a concert. But this wasn't any ordinary concert in any ordinary place. 

Last Saturday the Detroit Symphony Orchestra played Beethoven's 9th Symphony in the elegant Orchestra Hall. 

Stepping into the ornate room, anyone wearing jeans would automatically feel out of place. Formal apparel is most appropriate to drink in the full experience.

Before the concert began, I slipped into a tourist mode and took as many pictures as possible, even though I grew up in Detroit and have been in this hall at least four times.

I am standing in the aisle. No, I wouldn't zoom the camera to prove it was me, because I wanted to show you the seating area, including the magnificent balcony.

I felt like a child standing in this ornate hall. Not sure what to look at first or second or third. 

The bravado and elegance in then arches rise above the box seats leading the eyes to the carved angels above. Note, even the piece of ceiling in the photo is a masterful work of art. Regal shades of green, gold, cream, and black create the rich ambiance.

During intermission the University of Michigan Choral Group filled the risers behind the orchestra, and four soloists took their seats in front of the orchestra. 

The conductor walked on stage, stepped up on the platform, and raised his baton.

At that moment. The audience silenced.

As you can see from the photo, there was a sell out crowd and every inch of the stage was occupied. Behind me, a standing room only area was filled as well. 

Not a sound. 

In the whole room! 

The baton remained raised. The conductor eyed his orchestra from left to right.

And then he plunged the baton for the first down beat of music.

Powerful, exhilarating music lasting nearly forty five minutes.

My daughter Katy, top row middle, and a few of
her friends who sang at the concert..

The choral group singing with the orchestra was from the University of Michigan. The size of the stage limited the number of singers from the group who would be allowed to perform. Around two hundred were given the honor to sing in these performances. My daughter, Katy, was one.

The standing ovation by the audience called the conductor, choral conductor, and soloists for seven curtain calls. The excited, appreciative applause continued for more than ten minutes. 

Orchestra Hall is one place I don't believe I could ever tire of visiting.

And now for the rest of the story.

A family member had season tickets. Due to an obligation they were not able to go. They offered us the tickets, not knowing my daughter was singing that night. 

The concert had been sold out for months, long before my daughter, Katy, was chosen to be among the singers.

I could not choose a best part. The violins furiously bowing across the strings, the piccolo grandstanding above the entire orchestra in the closing pages, the vibrant sound of the chorus, the impeccable timing of every entrance, the magnificent tenor soloist, the passionate conducting commanding a sincere respect from all performers, the feel of the sound permeating our souls, the unity of orchestra, choral, soloists in a resplendent performance, or the majestic Orchestra Hall setting. Even as I type, I hear the music replaying in my mind and marvel at what I saw and heard. :)

Reader, what enthralling event have you attended? It may have been the place only or perhaps what happened at the place. 

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