Conference Crashers

As a group, I think we can all agree choreography isn’t our thing. In fact, I think some of us fake being bad at it so there’s no chance Barlow will ever trust us with anything other than standing still and looking engaged in the music. But on Thursday, May 5, 2011 at the Mountain West Arts Conference Awards Luncheon in West Valley City, the Utah Chamber Artists stepped outside ourselves, mingling with non singers until we spontaneously burst into song. We stood up from our tables and then moved about, interacting with strangers as if we wanted them to watch us – individually. OK, a few UCAers really got into it. Some of us complained because we were asked to carry a goblet of water and sing at the same time. But we pulled it off. Rob Lochead and Dave Hansen started us off with “Got a Little Rhythm” with enough commitment to character to convince the rest of us to get up and start singing to and smiling at the surrounding faces. We weaved in and out of banquet tables until we eventually made it up to the front of the dining hall into our more familiar formation on the steps.

It was an interesting social experiment in seeing if people will stop whatever they’re doing to hear the music. Answer? If they’re eating, probably not. Some were bothered by the interruption, others weren’t quite sure what was happening, but most were thoroughly pleased and entertained. One conference attendee said she’s been to the conference every year but this one was the best because of the flash mob. Is that enough encouragement to want to do it again? Well, Barlow probably won’t be writing any musicals for us to be singing and dancing in anytime soon, but we can be sure we brought a bit of joy and surprise to some folks after a long morning of meetings.

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