Back Stage Basics – “What drums?”
Behind the scenes stories of “interesting moments” on concert day.
As back stage volunteers we arrive early at Walter Hall. A key for the performers’ lounge, known as the “Green Room” is picked up at Reception and we await the arrival of our artists. Usually they appear a little before 10 a.m.
“We are so thrilled to have you here to perform for the WMCT! How was your flight? Do you need help with parking? The page turner will be arriving at 11:30. Would you like a coffee? Can we pick up a sandwich for you at lunch? We’ll take you to Walter Hall.”
While the musicians rehearse we unlock the Green Room then set out water bottles and snacks before gingerly stepping on stage to hand over the key.
Usually things go very smoothly. Sometimes there are surprises!
UofT Music staff and students saved the day for trumpeter Jens Lindemann’s concert. He was to perform with a jazz trio. Of course we all know that pianists do not arrive with their own instrument, but did you know that jazz drummers don’t either? We sure didn’t! They bring their sticks and cymbals only. When not in use the Faculty of Music’s very best jazz drum kit is kept chained to the wall inside a locked room. Only two people have both keys! Fortunately the drums were available that day! Doors and padlocks were unlocked, student movers were engaged and the show went on to multiple standing ovations.