St. Nick continued to smile on us, and neither of the two packed houses at the Mission Santa Clara had to come and go in the rain. It's not that we're wimpy Californians, it's just that the churches we perform in don't have lobbies, the bathrooms are in adjoining buildings, and we need some of the short period we can have in the church to do our warm-up/choreography work, so we need to keep people waiting outside for a bit. Santa Clara is always a pleasure, and not only because it is one of our prettiest venues, but also because the church lights the decorative Christmas trees early- bestowing a really magical atmosphere upon the church. It has been a Chanticleer venue since the beginning and there are people there who have been with us since the beginning. Also lots of new faces as well - here and in Carmel, which is really a great pleasure to see.
The scene depicted below doesn't happen without a lot of work by our experienced and dedicated staff. We present all of our Bay Area concerts ( except for Livermore and Stanford) ourselves which means that our staff has a big roster of tasks: scheduling the run with all of the venues and organizing around their constraints, marketing and selling the tickets - that means deciding how to advertise with a limited budget and very changing circumstances about how people access information ( newspaper advertising still the most effective - even in the age of social media), produce the concerts, arrive before we do to set us up, sell the CD's before, at intermission and after, find and manage the ushers, deal with any audiences that may happen ( there have been three this run), meet and greet our faithful supporters, and generally assure that everybody has a good and memorable evening. In addition to being very good at all these tasks, our staff is very very conscious of what people are hoping for when they come to our concert, and determined to send them away with a feeling of peace and goodwill.
So - a big shout out to our staff, upon whom we depend. It looks as if they'll be having an extra challenge at our last concert Sunday night at St. Ignatius. The biggest crowd we will have seen in 5 years will be struggling through a very dramatic storm!