Inside the Houston Symphony

Taking you behind the music–one concert at a time!

Posts Tagged ‘Florida

Home sweet home …

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Dear Dan Rather,

Thank you so much for coming to our concert last Thursday, and for tweeting praises about it!  Twice!  So glad you enjoyed the performance.  You are always welcome, please come again!

Sincerely,

Kiju

To everyone else who came, THANK YOU SO MUCH, too!!!  Our Carnegie concert was such a success because of you!

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Friday, we all flew down to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, exchanging freezing sidewalks for balmy beaches!  Our first concert on Saturday evening was at the Kravis Center in West Palm Beach.  There was a very large turnout, the audience was incredibly sincere and not without sense of humor.  There was hearty chuckling before the movement Saturn (Bringer of Old Age), and Uranus (well, how do you say it?).

Our final concert was Sunday evening at the Broward Center in Fort Lauderdale.  Again, incredible turnout, even larger than WPB.  Very enthusiastic audience.  More chuckling before those two movements.  (Isn’t it said that we all revert back to our childhood as we age?)

Overall, both Florida performances were huge hits.  Our entire tour was a huge success!  Going on tour, wherever it may be, is so critical for the health of a major symphony orchestra.  To be able to share and spread our art and love of music increases our fan base, and garners more international support.  Touring is beneficial for the Houston Symphony, and also for a thriving, expanding, globalizing, prospering city such as Houston.  Not only do we represent ourselves, we also represent the city in which we are located.  I hope we may continue to tour more, as we have done in the past, in the future.

Many thanks and shout-outs to people, without whom this tour would be impossible.  Thanks to everyone on the Houston Symphony Board and Administrative Staff for organizing and arranging everything.  Thanks to HS management for taking such good care of us on the road (thanks Steve for letting me use your laptop!).  Big, big, thanks to the HS stage crew (Donald Ray!!!  Kelly!!!  Cory!!!) for being so awesome and magically switching the stage at least three times a night.  Finally, big thanks to Mario of Mario’s Catalina Restaurant for serving the best Cuban food… and Mojitos…

Now — home sweet home!  I’m going to relax and watch one of my favorite movies, Tampopo.

Written by kiju

February 4, 2010 at 11:25 am

Taking it on the road

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We’d like to introduce you all to Meredith Williams–the first of our Symphony staffer bloggers! Meredith is still considered a newbie (as many of us are by comparison–you wouldn’t believe how many people have been here 10, 20, even 25+ years!), and is the assistant to our general manager. She’s been the go-to gal for everything related to this week’s tour to New York City and Florida, and wanted to share a little bit with you all about the planning that went into it.

Surely everyone in Houston felt the excitement that radiated from Jones Hall this weekend!  It was difficult to not get pumped about the Planets concert series.  I’ve only worked here at the Houston Symphony for 10 months, and I cannot recall a single day when the Operations and Production staff has not discussed or worked on The Planets – An HD Odyssey.  It amazes me that for some members of our staff, this weekend was the culmination of years of dedication and work.  Despite our successful weekend, our department has not quite celebrated – we aren’t done yet.  In case you had not heard, we’re taking it on the road.

As I mentioned, I’ve only been a staff member a short period of time.  In this brief period, I have had two major projects.  The first was to schedule ground transportation for the Simon Bolivar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela back in April. (Why is that a major project, you ask?  Well, that is a story for another blog…) The second project, and what I have considered my baby for the past seven months, is this tour.

In June I found out that I was to be the “Unofficial Tour Travel Agent and Schedule Coordinator.” Since then, I have booked 150+ flight reservations, over 200 hotel rooms, and 30 buses to accommodate all of the musicians, staff and guests that will be traveling between Houston, New York and Florida.  On the surface, booking travel arrangements is not a huge project, until you realize just how many people and details are involved.  I’ve had many hurdles and obstacles since I landed in the post of unofficial tour travel agent.  There were days (like the day we realized the Pro Bowl is in South Florida the same weekend we are in South Florida) that I wanted to pull out my hair and scream “REALLY?!?” at the top of my lungs.  However, I’m not whining.  In fact, as I sit here in my little cubicle under the stage of Jones Hall, I am quite happy to know that I played a part in helping the Houston Symphony (literally) get to New York and Florida.

The weekend was amazing, but the excitement is not over.  The orchestra officially left this morning to fly to New York and perform on that great stage known as Carnegie Hall.  Then, they’re flying to the sunny shores of Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach to play for NASA’s Cape Canaveral neighbors.  I wish I could see it in person, but I know that this tour will be a huge success and will make Houston proud.

You didn’t think we were going to leave you hanging, did you? Violinist Kiju Joh, Assistant Conductor/American Conducting Fellow Brett Mitchell and others are going to be blogging from the tour—so keep an eye out to read the latest updates!

Written by Meredith Williams

January 27, 2010 at 11:41 am