My first-ever studio recital was held at Donkey Coffee & Espresso on Friday evening, and I think it all came off extremely well. The recital lasted just over an hour and included 21 guitarists performing to a packed house of supportive parents, relatives and friends.
The lineup went as follows:
01. Alex & Michael France: “Jingle Bells”
02. David Driscoll: “Peter Gray”
03. Jason Snoddy: “When The Saints Go Marching In”
04. Keanu Hallowell: “The Entertainer”
05. Josh Whaley: “Jingle Bells”
06. Kristin Mansfield: “The Blue Danube”
07. Ruby Cribbett, Eli Kasler, Gregory Locke, Trent Thompson: “Old McDonald”
08. Eli Kasler: “Back to the 50’s”
09. Trent Thompson: “Smoke on the Water” riff
10. Gregory Locke: “Love Somebody”
11. Ruby Cribbett, Eli Kasler, Gregory Locke, Trent Thompson: “Ode to Joy”
12. Nick Weckman: “Maleguena”
13. Travis Boggs: “The Star Spangled Banner”
14. Laura Dakin, Jacob Henry, Billy Lavelle. Dylan Popeluk, Ashley Rank, Alexadra Shostak: “Boulevard of Broken Dreams”
Based on the success of the recital and the ensembles I can foresee doing more of these kinds of events. It’ll be interesting to plan the next one now that I’ve walked thru all of the logistics once.
Some things to keep in mind for next time:
• The Donkey is percieved as a “cool” place and has a clean non-smoking, family-friendly vibe. It worked perfectly for my first time out and the price to use the room was extremely affordable, however a larger venue may be nessecary.
• An in-house sound system and soundperson is essential. I really don’t want to have the responsibilty of providing sound reinforcement in addition to everything else!
• Having a stage and lighting really helped to set the tone of the event. I don’t ever want to do this under the glow of flourescent lights in a conference foom at the library or community center!
• Backstage/Storage Area: The Donkey’s storage room worked okay for us but a venue with more backstage area would be nice.
• Stage Area: The stage was just about too small for the sextet. Squeeze in there guys!
• Seating Area: The seating area was PACKED. This was great for the kids because they were playing to a full house but the audience may have been a little uncomfortable. Fortunately everyone tolerated the close quarters.
• Assistants: Some of my advanced students could be enlisted to help tune guitars etc.
• Wireless Mic: I really should have taken the wireless mic so I could make announcements from anywhere in the room. I learned this lesson in M.C.ing from watching a guy named “Len” host an open mic night at Tavern at the Mill 9 years ago.
• Running time was just about perfect at around 75 minutes. I don’t want to make the event too long. Like they say: “Always leave ’em wanting more.”
• One last detail: Checking in with Athens High School band director Susan Climer saved me lots of headaches. She had the entire football and marching band schedules months ahead of time, so I could plan without worry of conflicting with those major events.