The gigs went well today; I always like having the groups perform in either informal settings (like my afternoon combo did in the atrium) or low-pressure settings (like my evening one did, as background pre-program music for an awards banquet) right before a big concert, because a dress rehearsal in front of an audience is really effective.
We did have an interesting situation during the banquet; I'm sure things like this happen all the time at large institutions, but today it happened to us. As we were setting up in a portion of the conference center, we noticed that another part of the center had been divided off, and what looked like a class was taking place in there. Only when we read the sign outside that portion of the room did we realize what had happened: a final exam was being given in that room, right next door to where we were going to be playing!
Thankfully, the gig wasn't scrapped or anything. I'm sure no one person was to blame for this mixup; it was simply a case of the right hand not knowing what the left hand was doing. The people who scheduled the exam were looking for a nice, isolated location, which it would have been if there hadn't been a banquet with a live band next door. The people who scheduled the banquet (months ago, no doubt) would never have imagined that an exam was to be given so close by. In the end, everybody compromised a bit: we played a bit softer than we might have, and the exam-takers held their proverbial (or literal?) ears and concentrated a little more intently during our 35-minute set that ended exactly as scheduled. There were probably a few sheepish grins from those in charge of both sides when they realized what happened, but everyone ultimately went about their business.
After today, I'm really looking forward to the concert on Saturday. I'll of course have a full report on Sunday.
Feliz Cinco de Mayo: Apenas como hice el año pasado, decidía fijar un poco tributo a Cinco de Mayo en español, usando la magia del Babelfish. También deseo desear un feliz cumpleaños a Angie, novia de Halfling, y a Gordon, el bassist del P.M. combo. No tenía ningún alimento mexicano o un margarita a celebrar hoy (en hecho, fui al panda expreso para el almuerzo y Popeye para la cena), sino que cogeré para arriba en ése más adelante.
05.05.05: In addition to being Cinco de Mayo, it's also the fifth day of the fifth month of the year that ends in '05, as they pointed out on the radio this morning. This sort of occurrence is unique to the beginning of a century; I missed it last year, but it's an interesting little milestone to mark. Wouldn't it be wild if it were still being discussed on this very blog on December 12, 2012?
QUOTE OF THE DAY: "So where do they speak Portuguese...in Austria?"--One of my middle-school students, when the subject of Romance languages came up (he's already English/Spanish bilingual and will be starting French in high school). That was nearly as funny as when the college jazz band was preparing to go to Switzerland six years ago and a bunch of my students wondered if I was going to have to learn to "speak Swedish."