Saturday, July 10, 2010

The Sound of Square Music

In my blog last year (July 23 - The Tip of a Hat) I talked about a Madison, Wisconsin event. Quote - "On Wednesdays during the Summer, hundreds (maybe thousands or millions) of music lovers, picnicers, patrons of the arts and a few winos gather on the lawn around the State Capital building . . . "The Square" to listen to a performance of the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra. You can pack a picnic basket with your dinner or purchase pretty good food from vendors in little tents around the venue OR if your among the privileged you get to sit at fancy table set up along the main sidewalk that leads to the Capital steps and have a fine dinner, complete with wine served by a formally dressed wait staff. These are reserved for sponsors, their friends, family, employees and anyone else that can come up with millions of dollars for dinner." This past Thursday, due to some really bad weather on Wednesday, seats at one of these tables (bought and paid for) were raffled off. Lo and behold, Mrs. Blume was the proud winner of two seats at a fairly far, upfront table for that nights concert. Food would be provided as long as we were acceptable to dinning on whatever the previous owner had ordered. We were joined by five other winners and settled in for an evening of food and music. Fortunately the "pre-picked" menu was quite tasty and went perfectly with the bottle of $2.79 Pinot Grigio that we brought from home. Last year I made note of the various head wear around the square and even took some photos of them. This year, being much more sophisticated, I left my camera in the car and only mentally analyzed the crowd around me. There were the tables with bosses treating some deserving employees, salespeople treating customers (or prospective customers), Moms and Dads trying to instill culture in their children, husbands showing their wives a good time and those folks that NEED to be there because that's where you NEED to be. I even saw, if there ever is such a show, candidates for "The Real Housewives of Madison". Time to time the "Table People" would acknowledge the "Lawn People" by casting a sorta smug smile their way. Some "Lawn People" would reply with a signal, that I think, meant "First Time?" The weather was beautiful and the music was a collection of patriotic tunes starting with the Star Spangled Banner and ending with a rousing version (is there any other kind of version?) of the 1812 Overture complete with the blasts from sixteen canons. The canon fire came from a rooftop across the street from the capitol and to make it more authentic, pre-selected "Lawn People" fell over as though they had been hit. What a great ending. In payment for their performances, the "canon fodder" were allowed to occupy seats at vacated tables as waiters and busboys cleaned up. All in all a very pleasant evening spoiled only by listening to the broadcast of another Cub's loss on the way home. As I said I left my camera in the car two weeks we are returning as "Lawn People". (Lands' End is a sponsor that night so we get to sit in a reserved "Lawn People" section close to the "Table People") In the mean time I'm practicing my "First Time?" signal. Hopefully I will get some photos of both the "Lawn" and Table People" that I can add some smartassed captions to.
Oops, did I mention the chocolate cake with raspberry sauce dessert?

Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra Music Director Andrew Sewell
doing that voodoo that he do sewell!

"Lawn People

"Table People"

These photos are only a poor representation of the real thing. I pulled these off other less created sites and will try to give you a more accurate depiction of "Concerts on the Square" in a couple of weeks. Stay tuned.