A Welcoming Message for those new to Albert Music Hall

by

Roy Everett, PCS President

"Newcomers and Emotional Ties That Bind"

 

          The seasons change, and with each, come many new visitors to Albert Music Hall.  Upon witnessing a program, most newcomers will take it at face value as being just another music show.   The general ambiance of the building and stage may also may give a misleading first impression that this is a professional production.  They may wonder at the low admission price, after seeing over a 3-hour live concert performed by typically 40 or more talented musicians.  Most do not even remotely consider the possibility that this is an 100% volunteer historical preservation organization.

          However, the novices may notice an uncommon degree of friendliness, familiarity, and interaction between musicians, staff and audience members.  They may be intrigued by the impromptu musical gatherings in the Pickin' Shed, on the porch, and occasionally in the parking lot.  They may also be somewhat annoyed at the multiplicity of discussions abounding in the lobby, snack and gift booth areas. It seems that chatter and music is everywhere.

          Sadly, many may fail to comprehend one of the most unique and traditional characteristics of the Saturday night shows. This is the deep emotional tie that runs between the audience, the staff, and the performers.

          Professional music shows that I have seen, invariably offer well-trained performers, executing a carefully planned, technically excellent, well-rehearsed presentation in a very quiet theatre.   At the same time, such professional shows always leave some (usually a lot) of emotional distance between those who perform and the audience.  Spontaneity and basic sincerity are also often found lacking.  They do their job, they do it well, they earn their pay, and then leave.

          At Albert Music Hall, the musicians form bands with friends, and arrange their own programs.  While the groups often play together and always rehearse in the practice rooms before their set, the end result is often fairly spontaneous reflecting the mood at the time.   There are no formal stage rehearsals.  The musicians constantly travel through and mingle with audience members going to and from the stage.   Indeed, a large percentage of the audience consists of friends, fellow musicians, relatives and family.  Consequently, there are many inherently strong intermingled emotional ties.

          At Albert Music Hall, the newcomer has certainly stumbled upon something unexpected and unique.  Some will dislike it and never come again.  Others will be intrigued, visit again and again and, in doing so, find they too have become emotionally involved.   It can be a very strong bond, with new kindred friends listening, playing and learning together.  People care about each other, and it shows.  There is a sense that there is something here indicative of another, less complicated time. Something that is worth saving for others, something for them to discover for themselves.

          I know, I was a newcomer in 1985.

Roy Everett - PCS President

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