Before we get too far away from the Emerson Exchange conference held last month in Orlando, I wanted to share a great article from an internal newsletter which recapped the Emerson Exchange Jam session. While we feature process automation and instrumentation expertise day in and day out here on the blog, who knew there was so much musical talent? Here’s the article:During the 2014 Exchange conference in Orlando, Florida, a band with all-Emerson members performed for its largest audience yet – about 1500 people! What began in 2009 as an impromptu jam session between two musicians in a hotel lobby has grown into an annual “event.” For one night a year, Emerson musicians ─ calling themselves the Exchange House Band ─ devote themselves to entertaining Emerson Global Users Exchange Conference attendees who want to sing, dance, and unwind. The talent on stage may include Emerson customers, sales associates, vendors, and even some journalists – around 1.5% of total Emerson Exchange attendees.
Mark Kennedy works for Emerson in St. Louis and plays six instruments. “Our annual jam gives conference attendees a welcome break from an otherwise ‘left-brain intensive’ week,” he said. “Over the years, this music night has become a truly unique entertainment and networking opportunity ─ one you won’t find at any other technical business conference.”
Five of the regulars on stage work at Spartan Controls, Emerson’s LBP in Western Canada. Dewey Kuchle and Andre Dicaire formed a band when they were both working for Emerson in Austin, Texas. “When I moved back to Canada, we thought it would end there,” Dewey said. “Instead, Andre and I brought our acoustic guitars to the Emerson Exchange Conference that year for a late-night, unsanctioned reunion concert.”
As you can imagine, a crowd gathered. Mark joined them the following year at 2012 Exchange. The crowd along the banks of the San Antonio River Walk got so big and loud, none of the band members could talk the next day from trying to sing above the crowd.
“In Nashville in 2011, we had a stage, a PA system, drums, and even a sound man,” Dewey said. “We all look forward to this gig every year.”
Co-founder, Andre (left) encourages their energetic audiences to sing along to take part in the fun. “In 2014, some customers old us this six-hours of old-time Rock-n-Roll was the best corporate event they have ever attended,” Andre said. This year, David Schiff (bass guitar) from Novaspect, Kim Michon (bass guitar) from KJ Carriers, and Jonathan Pollet (saxophone) from Red Tiger Security joined them on stage.
Members from Spartan Controls – including Dave Dallas (keyboards), Chris Martin (drums), and Darren Eberle (guitar) – play other venues throughout the year, calling their local band When Pigs Fly. But, the Exchange conference event is a highlight on their calendar.
“With the support of our Emerson fans, we’ve become an official part of the conference agenda,” Dewey said. “The Exchange House Band is now fully-sanctioned and Emerson supported. See you all next year!”
For more details about Spartan members, check out this blog post.