Did I ever tell you about the time I attended 53 concerts in a single year?
You read that right. 53 concerts. In the last two semesters of my undergraduate. That means I attended somewhere between 1-4 concerts a week.
Holy buckets, why?
Why does anyone do anything crazy? Procrastination and severe introverted tendencies of course!
At the University of Montana, to graduate with a Bachelor of Music back in 2015 you needed 100 credits for concert attendance. 1 concert = 1 credit. To get credit, all one had to do was have a faculty member sign a concert card at the end of the performance and hand the card packed with signatures in at the end of the semester.
Sounds easy, right?
The thing they didn’t clue me in on is how much the professors HATED signing concert cards at the end of performances. Most faculty darted like cockroaches when the lights came on – or – engaged in conversations with colleagues that made it incredibly rude to interrupt if you didn’t know them.
Long story short, I hated getting rehearsal cards signed and by the time my senior year rolled around – I was sitting at 47/100 credits.
That meant I had to be bold and brave. And attend 53 concerts… and get 53 signatures.
Bold & Brave
I attended everything. And I mean EVERYTHING that year. Student recitals, band concerts, choir concerts, faculty concerts, guests artists, & student recital hour, you name it.
And in this time of terror (stalking the faculty for signatures after concerts) a really magical thing happened: facial recognition.
Over the course of the year I noticed a handful of people went to all the concerts or many throughout the week. Some were faculty and some were students. As time passed, we formed this unspoken bond of recognition that made talking to each other less scary.
Hellos after concerts turned to hellos in the hallways in passing. Not only did I get recognized by faculty members I was previously invisible to, I suddenly found myself in the middle of a network of faculty and students I could reach out to for help. I grew more and made more connections in that single year of school than I had in my previous 3.
Don’t get me wrong, 53 concerts was no easy feat. On top of making time for each, I had to swallow my fear and talk to people. However, looking back, the only thing I would change is I wish I had done it sooner.
Facial recognition goes a long way with your colleagues and professors. And for me, it certainly paid off. It helped me make strides in my communication skills and helped break me out of my shell.
And also – I got to see some amazing performances.