Last night I had the pleasure of being a designated photographer for the Sacramento Youth Symphony. Their Veterans Day concert was outstanding!
The concert was at the Sacramento Memorial Hall. I had never been there before. Traffic and parking was awful. There were all these one-way streets and I kept getting forced into turning onto them! I think I drove past the same street three times. It took me half an hour to find a parking spot! But finally I made it.
It was was the perfect venue for this concert!
Before the concert I went downstairs to take pictures of the musicians warming up. But it was pretty dark in there so I didn’t get many shots.
I went back upstairs and took a panoramic shot of the crowd. The hall is quite large. Unfortunately the small size of the web page doesn’t allow me to show the full size panoramic shot, which looks pretty cool stretched out across the computer!
Outside the hall, they were giving away free CDs. People would do double takes when they heard the CD was free. Not often you can get a free CD!
Then the musicians came out and took their seats.
Michael Neumann, the Artistic Director of the Sacramento Youth Symphony, came out and greeted the audience.
The concert began with a salute. Unfortunately I didn’t bring a program home so I don’t have any names or titles of anyone. 🙁
Everyone watched in respectful silence.
The Symphony performed patriotic songs.
I like photographing different perspectives of the orchestra. It was a little tricky because the audience was pretty much in a semi-circle around the musicians so I had to crawl around to not block people.
It was hard to get clear shots of the musicians because the audience was all sitting in the front. But I got this French horn player in the back.
You can see the audience’s heads here.
So I went up to the balcony. A much better shot! However, it is a very deep hall. I wasn’t able to get close-ups. There was a screen above the musicians that showed the Statue of Liberty. It would also show historical pictures as speakers talked about World War II.
The music was fantastic. It’s amazing that most of these musicians are in high school!
Intermission. Time to go into the lobby and take pictures of the pretty decorations on the table.
The concert also had special guests. Unfortunately the lights were almost directly above the speaking podium, which meant the pictures had very harsh shadows. I tried to post-process them by bringing up the fill light but these pictures seem a bit on the dim side to me…
Anyway, back to the special guests.
The Tuskugee Airmen…
There were also Pearl Harbor Survivors but they were standing in the dark so I wasn’t able to get pictures of them.
A lady who told the story of the Navajo Code Talkers (her uncle was one), unsung heroes that helped us win the war…
We heard about the 442nd regiment and the Japanese Americans that led it to become the most decorated regiment in history…
The emcee did a wonderful job. She is from Channel 10 and there was a camera man there too.
One of songs played was “Taps.” The solo trumpet player rose above the rest.
One of the students won a competition and conducted his own composition. Premier performance of the piece as it had never been performed before. Very impressive!
All playing against the backdrop of a flag that was lowered against the curtain.
A shot from the balcony…
And further back, the whole hall. I had two cameras… my D50 (old Nikon) with a wider angle lens, and my newer D700 with the zoom lens. This allowed me to switch back and forth easily.
There were a lot of people there. You can’t see the back half of the audience, the back balcony or the people on the right, which are all cropped out.
Then the Sacramento Mandarins Drum and Bugle Corp came in. Everyone loved how they were so precise in how they picked up their instruments — like a wave.
It was quite an impressive line-up.
Those instruments sure look heavy! But they picked them up like they were feathers.
Afterwards, they joined the symphony in playing along.
The big finale was the 1812 overture, complete with cannon blasts and church bells.
Mr. Neumann said, “Give a thumbs up if you liked this concert.”
The audience was in the dark but I had a chance to snap a quick picture. The photo has practically no color due to being in the dark but I’m amazed my camera was able to pick up anything at all!
Time for the acknowledgements.
Outstanding job done by all!
Mr. Neumann said this concert took over a year to put together. There were many pieces and it was all executed perfectly. (At least, from the audience’s point of view!) Many thanks to the sponsors and all the people who worked hard to who made this concert possible!