Tuesday evening (Dec. 16th, 2014), Jeri and I enjoyed a concert (Holiday Organ Spectacular) at Segerstrom Hall in Costa Mesa, CA.
I bought our tickets on Black Friday when they had a 50% off sale. Always wanting to save money, I looked for the cheapest tickets. The orchestra pit (near the very front) had some (normally $15) open seats. So we picked up a pair for $15. Other tickets for this concert were going for much, much more. I figured that the seats must not be very good and that we’d be craning our necks. After it all, they were the cheapest tickets. But were we wrong! I think that we had some of the best seats in the house.
We were in the third row from the front on the left side. The only downside of sitting so close is that we didn’t hear the music through the speaker system. But that was fine. But being up front, we could hear the three instruments and vocalist on stage perfectly.
The trumpet player (Barry Perkins) was on our side of the stage. As you can see by the photo, his horn would often be aimed directly at us. The sound was absolutely heavenly. I think that my favorite piece was “The First Noel” which was a trumpet solo accompanied by the organ. The live performance could never be matched in a recording. My memories of listening to that piece will last a long time.
For “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch”, the vocalist asked for a volunteer to sit on stage as Mr. Grinch. She came to our side of the stage and was perusing the first few rows. She asked the guy sitting next to Jeri. He was a middle-aged Indian man. Jeri and I were relieved that she didn’t ask me.
Other favorites from the night were Sleigh Ride. The vocalist and harpist had a playful competition as they slapped wood pieces to make the “crack” of the horse whip in the song. Of course they also played the bells and the trumpet made the horse neigh at the end.
I especially enjoyed the vocalist on “The Christmas Song” (“Chestnuts roasting over an open fire…”) We loved being up close; we could see the artists’ facial expressions. At the very end of one of the “Silent Night” sing-along, a lady in the front row asked “Do we clap?” The singer said “Yes” and immediately began to clap.
Here we are after concert.