Thursday, March 11, 2010

I Stood Where They Stood

One of the great things about being a teacher is that you occasionally get to go on a field trip -- or at least chaperon one. Last Friday I got to go with the school choir to hear the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (at no cost to me). It was a great trip, and there were several highlights, one of which being the tour of Symphony Hall.

Shifra, our guide, showed us all the interesting nooks and crannies of the the building. We saw the room where all the pianos are kept and met a piano tuner who was too busy hammering and tightening to talk with us. We saw the dressing rooms and quiet rooms where performers can go to collect their thoughts and shake off the butterflies before a performance. We saw the back staircase that the orchestra members use to access the stage, all the railings being covered with thick padding in case someone accidentally bumps their 300-year old Stradivarius. Finally, we saw the stage.

Not only did we see the stage, but we stood on the stage and walked around a little bit. It's unbelievable the array of people that have stood right there. Some notables include Rachmaninov, Ravel, John Williams, Aaron Copland, Theodore Roosevelt, Martin Luther King jr., Judy Garland, Amelia Earhart, Bertrand Russell, Orson Welles, Harry Houdini and Barack Obama. Pretty cool.

Total Cost: $0 for everybody. The tour was free.

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