Yesterday I went out to Northwood for a concert - Schubert Mass in G and Hiawatha’s Wedding Feast. I had a wonderful time. Aside from the fact that it was a lovely concert, with lovely people here’s why:
1) They gave us food between the rehearsal and the concert. Pork pies, funnily enough. Maybe I’m just unlucky, but usually what happens is you turn up to a church that is relatively in the middle-of-nowhere, meet some relative strangers, rehearse and then get locked out the church and left to fend for yourself for 2/3 hours. Fending for yourself usually involves spending a portion of your fee on food - sometimes pork pies.
2) The church was warm. OK, there is not much people can do about cold churches in the winter, but if there is heating it doesn’t hurt anyone to put it on for a few hours does it?
3) There were clean toilets and a dressing room with a mirror. I have not yet reached levels of diva-dom where I would expect my own dressing room, and am not childish enough to be much fussed about male/female changing space - it was blessing enough to have a space to change and leave belongings in that was not then going to host the interval drinks!
4) The rehearsal was super-efficient. No crying organists (this has happened unfortunately recently), no arguing about lighting, no debate about where to seat the soloists. Everything ran like clockwork, to schedule and stress-free.
5) I was trusted to dress myself. That sounds ridiculous, but so often people say ‘DJs for the men and something sparkly/glamorous (etc.) for the ladies’. We know what is expected, we have done this before. And please, please, please nobody ever again tell me to ‘make myself look sexy’. Especially not if the concert is in a church.
Honestly, this is not really a rant. When I do any concert I am happy just to be working. But a warm welcome, a little privacy and some common decency goes a long way.