It certainly looked like just another company Holiday Party. But it sure didn’t turn up like that.
We got the call back in July to book this holiday entertainment for Parkson Corporation to celebrate their 50th year together.
I knew when they called they were smart to book us so early because the phone was already ringing for company Christmas party entertainment. As it turned out this was one of the busiest days of the holiday season.
There were about 50 people; employees, spouses and significant others. It started off kind of calm. Dinner. A speech by the boss. A few accolades and a raffle or two.
I asked people to make requests by handing out request forms. And very few had come up. The ones I did get were quite eclectic. Brubeck, Dean Martin, Steely Dan, Squeeze, even Kanye West. I got to most of them before I could see everyone getting a little restless. Restless as in looking at their watches. Fidgeting in their seats. Conversations ended.
So I did what I do best. I got people going with a little interaction.
I started with one of the requests I had gotten from the Online Request Jar; ‘Dock of the Bay’ by Otis Redding. I didn’t really announce anything until I got to the part at the end of the song that has the whistling. Then I said, “Who knows how to whistle?”
One or two folks started into it. That’s all I needed. I re-introduced myself, said a few words and let them know we were going to have fun – so pay attention, follow along and no one would get hurt. It worked.
Since it was small group it didn’t take long to identify the “Alpha People” in the group.
The next tune built into a hand clapping bit, then I got the group singing two part harmony on ‘Lion Sleeps Tonight’. Even the ones who didn’t think they could sing were able to join in and blend in to the group. No one gets embarrassed and everyone becomes a singer at my piano.
So I continued with the Pop Standards and a few classics from the Great American Songbook, like ‘Wonderful World’ and ‘Fly Me To The Moon’.
By the end of the night, everyone was gathered around the piano singing arm in arm.
It was a great night for all especially me. I never get tired of doing all the same requests because the energy is always positive and warm. When people come together even tho they don’t know everyone in the room, it makes it all that more special to me.
I have the coolest job in the world; helping people have fun during one of the most festive times of the year. The emotions of the season come together through the music and it is a true honor to be included in your holiday parties and events.