Last week on Thursday and Friday I set up shop at the Midwest Band & Orchestra Conference, at the Chicago Hilton and Towers in downtown Chicago.
Having exhibited at the conference for over 20 years, in the basement, I decided to opt for a quite room upstairs in the hotel for clients to come and chat, have a cup of coffee, a cookie and get away from the noise and, of course, try some clarinets if they desired.
Never did I imagine that for the price of catering- I spent a total of roughly $800.00- that I would be treated to the end of a grand tradition in the Grand Traditions Room at the Hilton. The room was free if I catered and as you can see from the pictures, this opulent room was filled with hotel grand memorablia including many photographs of presidents and political dignitaries.
Not only was this a special two days because of my surroundings, but in 2009 The Midwest Band & Orchestra Clinic will be moving to McCormick West, after 35 years at the Chicago Hilton.
This years Midwest Band & Orchestra Clinic, an important conference every year to attend in the music world, marks the end of a grand tradition of meeting friends and clients at the Chicago Hilton Hotel and enjoying meals and drinks together year after year.
I really enjoyed this year’s conference and especially after having spent a lot more money to be downstairs on the noisy trade show floor, truly appreciated having this wonderful space as my showroom. While I understand the conference has completely outgrown this facility, the warmth and personal touches of the Hilton will be long lost on the big convention center at McCormick. Artistry needs the human touch, and while I am certain this conference will continue to thrive, we all need to remember that without it, we can easily look like just another commodity for sale.