GGFSO

Some reporters, especially sports reporters, are very good at estimating the size of crowds.  I’ve never been very good at it, but I’m eager to hear a head-count from last night’s Greater Grand Forks Symphony Orchestra Holiday Pops Concert. I was flabbergasted!  The audience didn’t number in the hundreds, but rather it seemed to be somewhere around three thousand!  Is that possible?  It wasn’t a hockey game, after all.

For years I’ve considered the Greater Grand Forks Symphony something of my play thing.

It started years ago when the late, great Page Towne, who was then the symphony’s executive director,  asked me out of the blue to narrate "Carnival of the Animals" and "A Lincoln Portrait" with the orchestra at the Fritz.  

Then two years ago, Jenny Tarlin talked me into competing in its Make Me a Maestro contest for the honor of conducting the symphony. I had the pleasure of beating out Ryan Bakken (something I don’t recall him ever acknowledging publicly, now that I think about it).  More importantly, at a buck a vote, the contest raised over five thousand dollars for the orchestra.

Then one day last summer, Jenny called again.  This time she invited me to emcee the Holiday Pops Concert:  A Festive Occasion.  It was clear even then the symphony was thinking very big for this one–Alerus Center, mass choir and a big crowd.        

I’m pleased to report all of that was accomplised.   The people I taked with after the concert seemed to have had a really good time.

My thanks to Jenny, of course, but also to Dr. James Popejoy who is about as easy and fun to work with as is possible, to Alerus Financial and the thirty-some other local individuals, businesses, organizations and corporations who backed the concert financially without any outside funding, and to the Alerus Center’s Steve Hyman for his vision and support of the project.   

The whole idea was for the pops concert to establish an annual tradition of kicking off the holiday season in our region.  That just might have happened last night.  

 

Avatar of Terry Dullum

About Terry Dullum

Terry Dullum is a North Dakota native and a graduate of the University of North Dakota. Currently, he is the anchor and producer of WDAZ News @5. He is also a popular speaker throughout the region.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to GGFSO

  1. dP_@hotmail.com says:

    I enjoyed the content of the concert just not the way it was setup. By that I mean the seating, if as I heard they had been practicing since September,why did it not occur to them to arrange seating that would be a little closer to the venue, and not behind a curtain located stage right. You now where you and the conductor were standing by prior to start of the concert. And why not have any traffic control? I guess the venue is not profitable enough to have either local police or the parking lot crew direct traffic to assure safe transition back on to N43rd Street. Luckily, no one was hurt. It is a shame that for to really enjoy the concert I will have to wait and order program from GGFSO website, in order to see and hear what I missed. One final note, could they come up with a quiet room for people with cranky kids or babies. So the family member could still see and hear but not disturb the rest of us.

  2. dP_ink@hotmail.com says:

    I enjoyed the content of the concert just not the way it was setup. By that I mean the seating, if as I heard they had been practicing since September,why did it not occur to them to arrange seating that would be a little closer to the venue, and not behind a curtain located stage right. You now where you and the conductor were standing by prior to start of the concert. And why not have any traffic control? I guess the venue is not profitable enough to have either local police or the parking lot crew direct traffic to assure safe transition back on to N43rd Street. Luckily, no one was hurt. It is a shame that for to really enjoy the concert I will have to wait and order program from GGFSO website, in order to see and hear what I missed. One final note, could they come up with a quiet room for people with cranky kids or babies. So the family member could still see and hear but not disturb the rest of us.

  3. Terry Dullum says:

    dp… Interestingly, Dr. Popejoy and I were talking about the seating just minutes before the concert. I can tell you that it was his understanding that those sections (to the far right and left) were going to be “blocked off” and not sold. I don’t know this for a fact, but I can only assume that those sections were opened up at the relative last minute (after the stage and curtains were set) because the audience was larger than anticipated. If that’s the case, it’s a nice problem for any arts organization trying to build an audience to have.

    I was a little surprised by the lack of traffic control, too. Again, perhaps because the crowd was bigger than expected. I can’t address the issue of “cranky babies.”

    With any first year event there are bound to be some problems. I think they are highly “fixable.” I hope you enjoyed the concert.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>