Putting together a live, symphonic concert takes the expertise of many: world-class musicians, inspired musical leadership from the podium, and a dedicated team of professionals who can provide the setting for the music to blossom.
We are so lucky to be working with the good people of IATSE Local 395. Each person I have been lucky enough to work with has, first and foremost, the safety of the people on and around stage.
I’ve noticed deliberate care from the moment lights are hung, platforms pieced together, clouds and pillars locked into place, and chairs hauled. Then, in an instant, there is the finesse of fine-tuning the lights, the sound, the spacing of the chairs, and the babying of a concert grand as it is nestled exactly into the right place so all can be seen and heard to perfection.
As Everett Armstrong has always told me, “it is all about the restore.” With zen-like concentration, after the concert is over, the IATSE crew dismantles the magical space they just created and takes it back to a blank canvas ready to be painted on again for the next production.
Contemplating the 100th Anniversary of IATSE Local 395, there are goosebumps in thinking of the local, national and international performers and industry greats with whom they have worked. Even more impressive is to think of the millions of patrons over the past 100 years who have experienced an extraordinary arts, cultural or business event because of their honest and exacting work.
The men and women of IATSE Local 395 are true professionals – those who do the amazing and yet make it look easy. They take the complicated sequencing of events to produce a show and distill it to their own ballet of timing, grace and accuracy.
The men and women of IATSE Local 395 have championed our home town’s own resident professional orchestra and together our two organizations have grown. Over the past 20 seasons I have worked with IATSE Local 395, I have discovered friends, not just colleagues. We’ve celebrated the arrival of babies, and mourned the passing of family together. There is always a special camaraderie which extends to when we meet off stage – at the grocery store or bank for example. I am proud that the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra and I are part of this 100th anniversary celebration.