Before I reach the moment where I can’t keep my eyes open and will withdraw to some comfy place, close my eyes and resume listening to the Outlander narration, I’ll try to put up my 2nd post for the Day of Song concert. I didn’t take a lot of photos throughout the days, because I just didn’t have the time. I wasn’t there for my own entertainment, but for serious (volunteer) work! :-) I had a great time and a lot of fun, but just didn’t manage to snap a lot of pictures.
I already wrote about the preparations on the first day, on which we were told about what our jobs would be and we were assigned the various jobs. When all of a sudden I was in charge of one of the choirs who would perform on stage. When I signed up to be a volunteer during this event I actually just expected to be working in the backstage camp for the 230 choirs and their 7500 singers. Catering, answering questions, guiding them to the right facilities, exits etc. This job as special volunteer for a single choir was so much better. I helped with stocking the tables inside the tents with food and drinks in the mornings, but afterwards I had to take care of my choir. Lead them into the arena, to their seats, stay with them all throughout the first rehearsal, because it was me who had the radio unit and the earbud and the microphone to get the instructions and cues from the show’s director. Or one of his assistants or whoever.
But it was just so fascinating to be a part of the whole production. Actually be a person involved with this huge stage and TV production and to get a glimpse of how complicated it is to get a show like this up and running. Starting with the seating arrangements of 7500 people. 15 – 20 choirs performed on one of the various stages throughout the concert. How to get them from their seats to their stage and back, where to have them seated in the first place, how to guide them from their seats to the stage, without having them bump into another choir on it’s way to or back from another stage was quite a large logistic endeavour. I have no idea how many weeks / months the stage productions designers and supervisor figured that out. It also was quite fascination to listen to all the directions (technical and artistical) on the radio unit, which I had to have turned on all the time.
It spoiled part of the sound experience for me during the show though, so I admit that I removed the earbud from my ear during my favourite parts of the concert. After 2 rehearsals I knew when my cue would come and that it would be save to enjoy the unlimited sound experience of 70.000 very musical people singing very beautifully. I really had an amazing time and I know it’s going to be a cherished memory for a long time.
It wasn’t just the music and being a part of this huge production that I’ll remember fondly, but the persons I’ve met and the experiences I made. These encounters with various kind of people from all around the region or maybe even abroad was one of the main reasons I signed up to be volunteer at RUHR2010 in the first place. During my every day job I don’t get to meet or talk to a lot of new or different people on a regular basis. And I’m not a person who strikes up a conversation in a pub of cafe or anywhere else with random strangers. I’m usually not the most outgoing person and I sometimes don’t like that about me. It’s not easy to change old habits though. I had no difficulties to start talking with other volunteers or visitors though and I enjoyed the easy going talk very much.
Of course there are always people who are slightly to very annoying, but most of all the folks and especially all the choir singers I met were lovely. One of the most fascinating thing about the group of volunteers at RUHR2010 is that it’s such a large and diverse group of people. Men, women from 18 – 60 years or older, with all kinds of professions and from all around the region and we’re all joined in our endeavour to represent this region and be a wonderful host to all the visitors. I would never have met all these various persons otherwise and during all my volunteer work so far it’s always been a nice experience to just met them. Sometimes very wonderful, sometimes informative, sometimes inspiring experience and I hope there will be more of those throughout the rest of the year.