Pivoting in a Pandemic: “Yes, And” style

What is missing in music industry’s board meetings, orchestra meetings, faculty meetings, marketing meetings, artistic planning meetings, etc.? Missing is the ability or desire to listen and add to an idea. Basically, a “Yes, And” philosophy where teamwork, embracing failures or upsets, and a genuine support of everyone on the team allows a group of people to reach a better conclusion or solution. It’s an artform that is allows the best kind of flexibility and nimbleness. I wish these skills were taught in college! So when Texas State University orchestra director, Jacob … Continue Reading

Orchestra Etiquette in a Covid Era

As many orchestras begin returning to the stage, here are a few etiquette guidelines to think about: Do not complain on social media about wearing a mask Everyone knows they are difficult to breathe in, cause acne, hard to perform in, and uncomfortable. Even if you are joking, making light of the situation, be cognizant that there are many orchestras that are not performing. Colleagues in orchestras not playing will not take kindly to your witticisms and asides about a mask because it’s likely they would be more than happy to be … Continue Reading

Reach Out, Listen In

When Arts Capacity first started the interactive recital idea several years ago for prison concerts, it was to foster a more engaging and inclusive way of offering a musical performance. Going into the prisons, we knew that this recital environment would be one of the very few places prisoners could access and address their feelings. It also was a time for them to share thoughts and reactions to the music, since between each piece we would have a two-way conversation about the music and how it affected them. After each concert we … Continue Reading

“I didn’t know how much I would miss art and culture until it was gone.”

“I didn’t know how much I would miss art and culture until it was gone.” Those words were from a prisoner who attended a recital I gave back in 2017. He explained to me that at one time he was a regular symphony subscriber and he used to take art and music for granted until he ended up in prison. His words have been echoing in my head these past several days as quarantines take effect for us all, essentially imprisoning us in our homes. As we all watch businesses temporarily close, … Continue Reading

Celebrating The Past While Looking To The Future

It’s been 5 months since I began working as concertmaster with Wichita Symphony Orchestra. Getting to know the culture of the city and the people has been enlightening on several levels. Wichita is a unique city in that its history is something people are extremely proud of, and its future is something they are equally proud. From the early days of Wichita where Wyatt Earp and the Chisholm Trail helped build a mythology of the Wild West, to the 20th century where names like Stearman, Beechcraft, and Cessna helped create the “Air … Continue Reading

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