Nothing Wrong with Hard Work…

Listed on June 18, 2013 in Blogs!

Putting together our adult education programme is an extraordinary feat of persuasion, planning and determination. We undertake the task twice a year. Once in the spring and again in the autumn. The autumn task is the easier of the two since it covers a shorter time frame whilst the spring effort lasts for months and includes the planning the talks and concerts. As most Dillingtonites know, the real organiser is Denise Borer. As I write she is resting in a darkened room somewhere having signed off the next programme to the printers. I am sure in the cold light of day we will discover one or two mash-ups in the diary. It is inevitable as we wrestle with dates, rooms, tutor availability, last minute changes and other business coming in whilst we’re planning. Of course, we hope there will be none.

My real challenge is to get our public lecture series organised. Dealing with busy people and their sometimes inexperienced agents is a nightmare. Dozens of e-mails fly from my computer. Messages are left on answerphones. Needless to say, most e-mails and messages are not responded to so the task is repeated. The urgency of my tone increases as the weeks trickle by and the deadline looms. Then the jigsaw comes together, slowly. The worst part is when you have offered a range of dates to several speakers at once, one of them becomes allocated and then a really high profile speaker asks for that now allocated date. Then there are some speakers who would like to accept the invitation but are reluctant to do so because they hope for a more lucrative engagement like some television filming or international assignment. Who can blame them for prevaricating! Finally there are the concerts. This isn’t as difficult but discussing fees is awkward especially when there are four or sometimes five musicians involved. As anyone knows, earning a living from playing chamber music is really difficult and the work involved is phenomenal. It’s not for the faint-hearted. Especially tricky is staying alert to repertoire clashes; the same piece played twice in the same season for example.

Anyway, none of this is a moan at all. It is really exciting although, as intimated, time consuming. This is by way of my excuse for not sorting out the library – which needs to be done, desperately – and for not blogging more frequently this month. Both will be rectified shortly. I promise.