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Crew scrambles to keep symphony concert on track after storm

By Grace Ditzler, KTVM Reporter, gditzler@ktvm.com
Published On: Jul 04 2014 10:34:43 PM MDT
BOZEMAN, Mont. -

On Friday afternoon, Bozeman's annual symphony and orchestra concert was all set up, crews waiting for showtime.

"I was asleep, as was half of my other crew, because we've been here working for the last two days," said sound mixer Jeremiah Slovarp.

Then, a sudden heavy rain storm rolled through town.

"I get a phone call from one of the stage managers who basically said, 'you need to get down here right now. All hell's about to break loose,'" Slovarp said.

By the time Slovarp got to the fairgrounds, all the equipment was soaked.

"All the music stands, microphone stands, everything had pretty much blown over," he explained.

And the status of Friday night's concert was suddenly up in the air.

They rushed to wrap equipment in tarps to keep it out of the rain, and when the downpour stopped, they worked to dry off what they could.

"We spent the last two hours drying it out," said Slovarp.

They crossed their fingers that nothing got ruined, hoping they'd still have a show.

Slovarp said the downpour pushed everything back, like sound and light checks, but eventually they were able to test everything.

"None of the equipment that we can tell has been damaged, which is great," he said.

He explained the rain was unexpected, but they knew how to handle it because it comes with the territory of working in this business.

"In this line of work, especially with outdoor festivals in Montana, we deal with the elements -- rain, water, snow in July-- all the time," Slovarp said.

Slovarp said weather is always a factor, but thanks to the quick actions of the crew, they got the symphony and orchestra concert back on track, for folks to enjoy as part of their Fourth of July celebrations.

Hundreds of residents gathered at the fairgrounds after the rain stopped, equipped with umbrellas, ponchos, and tarps, to enjoy the symphony.

Residents said the storm wasn't going to stop them from celebrating Independence Day, enjoying the fireworks, and coming together as a community.

"I have a poncho with me, and we each have a poncho, and we're going to put that thing on and tough it out," said Park County resident Barbara Prager.

"We'd still stick it out," said Lisa Ruybal, referring to the possibility of rain. "We came this way to support everybody in the community and we'd still be here."