Glenn’s currently on a bus from Dallas to California, having been grounded due to the way air travel is exacerbating some of hishealth issues. He wasn’t feeling great all weekend after a few days of cross country travel. And, to add insult to injury, this past Saturday just so happened to be the Dallas performances of ‘To Be American’ – the show Glenn has been working on with the Millennial Choir and Orchestra (MCO). While the shows went off without a hitch, on radio this morning, Pat and Stu recounted a slight bit of chaos that accompanied the hours leading up to the performance.
“We met these guys a year and a half or so ago, and we fell in love with them,” Pat said of MCO. “Glenn had the conductors over-to his house… They were planning to do an American sort of show, but they were concerned that sometimes they turn out a little cheesy… So they got together to make sure it wouldn’t be, and they came up with this presentation where Glenn would show these historical artifacts of America, and they wrote the music around the artifacts. So it’s just tremendous. It’s just awe-inspiring.”
Two performances of ‘To Be American’ were scheduled for 5pm and 8pm on Saturday at the Meyerson Symphony Center, and Pat explained that he got a call just hours before show time that Glenn was not feeling well.
“I was planning to be at the 5:00 performance anyway, and it’s Glenn saying, ‘Hey, I’m not feeling very well. Can you be here just in case I can’t make it through?’ I said, ‘Yeah, sure. I will be at 5:00 anyway. I will just stay for both shows,’” Pat said. “I get there thinking, ‘I could read a teleprompter.’ I’m no Barak Obama, but I could read a teleprompter, right?”
As it turns out, however, simply reading a teleprompter would not be in the cards.
“I get there. I go into the green room. And, I don’t know, it’s 15 minutes before the performance now because I only found out at the last minute, and I haven’t planning to be there hours ahead of time. So I’m like is the script on prompter,” Pat recalled. “No… His assistant Joe was telling me, he just wrote some notes. He wrote some notes in Glenn’s chicken scratch. I look at the notes, and it’s like ‘flag story.’ What the hell am I supposed to do with that?”
The way the show had been prepared, Glenn essentially had 5 to 7 minutes at a time to tell various stories while the orchestra played behind him. Needless to say, there was no way Pat was going to be able to ad-lib that kind of performance. Fortunately, Glenn was able to pull through for both of the evening’s shows.
“There was one stretch that the seven and a half minutes. And I’m like, ‘No. You can’t be seriously expecting me to jump in and ad lib my way around your artifacts’… Can you imagine,” Pat asked. “That would have been one of the biggest disasters ever in the history of a symphony hall performances. I mean, synchronized to music, written specifically for the stories he only knows, as told by me. You tell me how great that would have been.”
Interested in seeing ‘To Be American’? There are still performances left. Learn more HERE.