Today is Set-Up Day for our local Suzuki Institute. My kids are so excited to be heading into their intensive music weeks on home turf, they are thrilled to be part of the set-up crew. We got to the school this morning to move a piano and help with organizing things there only to discover that my compulsive mom and her compulsive sidekick had organized the stink out of the place already. We moved some chairs and stools, set up the T-shirts, put up signs and then it really was done. We had spent only an hour at it. It didn't seem enough. We were still raring to go.
The performance venue, recently renovated, still needed to be set up. Mysteriously one of the other members of the set-up crew had been warning my compulsively over-prepared mom away, telling her she shouldn't really go and see the venue yet. My kids and I headed over to see what we could do to help set up. The village has been adding a set of washrooms at the back, renovating store-rooms, preparing to move in a whole new set of interior equipment -- staging, chairs, etc.. It was definitely still a construction zone when we arrived. There was dirt, mud and drywall dust everywhere. Everywhere. The electrician was there with his huge heaps of tools and supplies, the bathrooms weren't finished, a volunteer brigade of locals was there pulling apart the temporary staging, trying to clean up bats of rotting fibreglass insulation, unpacking chairs and portable staging, risers, music stands. Keep in mind that the opening performance for our Suzuki Institute is tomorrow afternoon!
Well, we set to work. The kids worked really hard. They tore sticky labels off 250 brand new chairs and moved them down from the balcony two at a time. They used tools and instructions to assemble all the music stands. They swept and mopped and swept and mopped. The cleared a storage room, moved scores of wooden chairs upstairs and surplus new chairs into storage. They assembled the staging, they set up 200 audience chairs, pushed the concert grand around, swabbed railings and finials, hand-washed stairs, washed and moved tables, took down outdated signage, hauled dollies around, packed construction debris out. It took about 3 1/2 hours, and we didn't do it all ourselves by any stretch, but the transformation was amazing and the kids were a huge part of it. In that short space of time the venue went from a construction zone to a spankingly improved community hall looking its best. A good day's work.