capabilitymom goes to symphony hallThis week  I went off grid in the nicest possible way. Although I thoroughly enjoy my usual morning walk with friends (an hour plus) , I took only a short walk (with dog only, I doubt my heart rate went up at all) and then went into town (what we locals call Boston) to an open rehearsal of the BSO at Symphony Hall.  Fancy? Not really – tickets cost $13 and my mom gave me hers -so for the price of parking, I went to the Symphony.  Sure, I was one of the youngest people there – the buses from local area senior centers were parked out in front and most people my age have jobs for goodness sake.  I was told that usually the rehearsals last about two hours but they had a lot of ground to cover (Delius – Paris: A Nocturne (The Song of a Great City) – the first time in 70 years that it had been performed in Symphony Hall) and rehearsal was scheduled to go until 2:30. I had to leave just after noon to give me enough time to grab a bite to eat and make a 1:00 seminar at the Marriott at Copley Place on social media. Yes, the symphony, a salad, and a seminar – quite the alliterative day.

Anyway, during a performance you would have an assigned seat but rehearsals are open seating which is so interesting – some people choose the balconies, some the floor seats, some people have definite preferences, I  just wandered around until I decided on the second row on the left I spread my stuff out and settled in. It is oddly luxurious to have seats to yourself in such a usually packed place.  The conductor greets the audience and thanks us for joining them. At first the rehearsal didn’t seem any different from a performance until about an hour in when the conductor stopped  and made a few changes with precise suggestions. This was notable because even to me (I am not even remotely musical), it so thoroughly changed the piece and really showed me how amazingly talented this orchestra really is. I ended up writing during the rehearsal (I wrote during the Holiday Pops, too, maybe I should get an office in Symphony Hall) and as I looked around I notice people reading magazine, jotting notes, napping, chatting quietly, or listening rapturously.

It was casual and lovely, despite the description of activities, the audience was quiet and respectful and only when the orchestra took a break did everyone move to the lounge. Some people unpacked lunches, some stood in line for coffee and snacks. I am not sure what they served as it was noon and I had to figure out where my seminar was…I kind of knew it was in the Marriott but I forgot the ticket so I was slightly unclear. So I headed over (I had parked in between the two places) to Copley Place and used a computer at the Sheraton Business Center to confirm my seminar, I then grabbed a salad at Tossed – impressive organized prep line and fresh ingredients –  and eavesdropped on some middle managers of EMC2 (there was a conference and about a thousand attendees with company name tags and identifying lanyards) who were babbling about ISR (inside sales reps) and lead generation (good thing I am not a corporate spy or anything). Corporate Peeps! When you are out in public and wearing company identifying materials – your conversations should be discreet, just sayin’…

The seminar was nicely attended and they had coffee – good, but no treats- bad. The speaker was engaging and knowledgeable and although I had seen both of the videos they showed, and knew some of the tips, I did get a good resource that I did not know about, Social Mention. A cool tool that lets you type in search terms (your name or company name) and see how many times you come up and whether there is  positive or negative sentiment associated with  you or your brand, identifies your reach and other interesting algorithms to show how you stack up. It’s fun and free and easy to use. All that and I made it back in time for Mommy driving duties, and made dinner, which wasn’t that bad, actually. Sometimes these days work – this was a really nice one and I am grateful for it. Don’t think this is anything near normal – it was a gift and I needed to recharge and this was a nice fit.

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