A few weeks before our yearly spring concert, the last concert of the school year, Mr. Decker announced a contest. The idea was to increase interest in these concerts by having the participants (band and chorus) give out tickets for entrance to the auditorium. Tickets would be free, but the student who saw the most tickets returned would receive a cash prize!
Things got a bit heated up, some good-natured joking about who would win must have happened between many of the music students. Personally, I know one of my good friends, Eileen, was particularly determined to win that prize. She knew she would win.
The weeks leading up to that night saw us each giving tickets to friends and family, neither of us knowing how many would actually follow through and come to the concert. Parents – they were a given, but those cousins and aunts and uncles, family friends?
The night of the performance arrived, a warm, beautiful spring evening. People thronged into the auditorium. We were all amazed at how many were there, almost every seat filled! I saw that many of my relatives were in the audience – even some who lived in a rival school district – aunts, an uncle, cousins and my grandmother, among them.
Eileen had a brilliant idea: she stood outside the door and handed tickets out to people that did not have one. At that point, we were both sure she was going to win, if either of us did. Neither of us knew how much competition we were up against from others.
Concert over, the big announcement was made. The winner of the cash prize for most people attending with tickets was…. ME!
I don’t remember that the music department ever used that tactic again to improve turnout at a concert. I think maybe it got a bit out of hand on this first attempt!