The 2015 – 2016 Symphony season began last weekend with a program that included Beethoven’s Symphony #9 as well as a relatively new piece by a contemporary American composer named Adam Schoenberg (not that Schoenberg!). Both pieces were well performed and well received. Both Friday and Saturday night’s performances were sold out, a little unusual for a Classics series concert.
Once again this year, I am ushering. Because of that, we are trying something new this year. In the past we have purchased two subscriptions to the Classic series and I would generally limit my ushering efforts to the Pops concerts. Occasionally I would usher a Classics concert but, when I did, I would be seeing the same concert a second time. With a nod to the budget, this year we purchased only one subscription, for Harper’s Other Dad, and I signed up to usher the same performances. We don’t get to sit together during the concert but it saved us more than $1000 so it was well worth it.
The theme for this season is “Symphony Unexpected”. I’m not entirely sure what that means, perhaps the combination standards with 21st-century pieces. Whatever the rationale, it is a significant improvement over last year’s theme, “It’s Tito Time” in honor of our then-new conductor. The season brochure shows a close-up of a tux but rather than the typical black tie, it is orange sequined. I guess that is the unexpected.
To continue that theme for opening weekend, Symphony Hall was decorated with orange bow ties on the glass doors and mirrors. And the ushers was asked (well, not really ‘asked’) to wear them. I didn’t mind. It was festive. I wish they’d told us before we arrived however so I would not have spent time tying a black bow tie before I left home.
Of course putting a large orange bow on the men’s room mirror creates a self opportunity too good to pass up. At least in my case, I’m not sure this can really be called “unexpected”.