Volunteering

I’ve just had a very busy weekend (which is not so strange – every weekend is busy, being days off work when you can catch up on life). I participated in a concert commemorating the centenary of ANZAC on Saturday night.  One hundred years of an important cultural event is certainly worth celebrating, so the evening’s concert included a multitude of artists, a cast of thousands. A 30-piece brass band, a 70-voice children’s choir and a 50-voice adult choir, a 15-piece vocal harmony group, and many individual artists performing over three hours.

We began setting up the auditorium early on Friday morning, and had to vacate the stage immediately following the concert. Two very long days, which were also the only rehearsal time we had to check sound, lights, staging, and logistics. The organisers had planned for months, but it all came down to those two days to get it right.

And it was right on the night, at least for the patrons who were in the audience. Of course, they weren’t aware of the pandemonium backstage, the crowded wings and constant shuffling of performers in and out of the backstage door. We tend to take for granted that these things just happen, and we enjoy being entertained by musicians and dancers but we don’t see the effort that goes into staging such a concert. It requires good preparation, patience, cooperation, and sheer determination to commit to an outcome and work to carry it out.

Like anything in life, you get out what you put in. For me, it was just thrilling to be part of the community, doing something alongside others to present a show that had meaning.

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