The idea of being in a book club is so appealing to me. The images and scenarios that come to mind include the discovery of a new author, sitting curled on the couch with a cat in my lap reading the book with a glass of wine or cup of coffee, the social aspect of talking with friends and sharing perspectives after the book is read.
My perfect book club will never happen. I don’t have time to read on a regular basis or even commit to reading a new book once a month. My travel and work schedule alone cancel out any kind of social gathering with any consistency.
I was sitting at a restaurant with some symphony patrons last year, and we discussed the new work on that evening’s concert. The various perspectives were amazing. As each person shared their opinion of what they heard, how they felt, what they saw, it enhanced each other’s perspectives as well as my own.
I wondered, could there be an online musical version of this kind of conversation? Just like a book club, a monthly offering of a newer work would be shared, then people could listen at their leisure and comment at their leisure.
The answer is yes! One of the greatest benefits in my new job at Wichita Symphony is the collaborative style and the “Yes, And” attitude from everyone. So, at the Wichita Symphony we are launching a platform for just that kind of monthly musical offering and online interaction.
The kick-off to this monthly offering will be the first week of September! Go ahead and “like” The Wichita Symphony’s Facebook page to stay informed, or keep an eye out on their website for updates. The offerings will be online links of recordings that people can listen to in their car, while cooking, or just sitting on a couch with a cat or dog on their lap…sipping wine or a cup of coffee. There will be a very short explanation of why the work was picked or why it is interesting.
There will not be lengthy program notes as the experience of listening should be focused on the listener’s impression, not some academic expert’s advice. Music is about art and emotion, there is nothing right or wrong to any interpretation!
People will be encouraged to leave their thoughts and impressions on the platform. Specifically: how the work made them feel, and if they heard a story, or just general observations. There won’t be wrong answers.
Part of the joy in the discovery of listening to new works will be hearing what others have to say as well. You might have heard one interesting theme and someone else might have heard a cool solo. When you read each other’s impressions, you come away with a fuller experience.
This monthly offering will cultivate curiosity, build your own knowledge and confidence, and build social bridges into the arts. Then the fun begins and you might just want to invite friends into this experience!