We Expect Your Attention, But Don’t Expect Ours

In the orchestra field we don’t do a fantastic job of creating or encouraging a dialog between patrons and the orchestra. Our focus is mainly on delivering. We deliver talks and lectures, program notes, concerts, and then we ask for money. The point of music, and all art for that matter, is for people to experience emotions or thoughts connected with the work. Since everyone is different, emotional responses vary. And that’s a good thing! What is not good is to try to pigeonhole someone into a certain way of thinking and … Continue Reading

Sound Post

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 … Continue Reading

Ruining The Concert Experience For Newcomers

I was having a conversation last week with another arts industry expert who asked me, “What do you think is preventing people from coming to concerts?” I said it’s the perceived rules. There are assumptions that one must come dressed a certain way, assumptions that if one doesn’t know when to clap they are not worthy, and assumptions that if one doesn’t understand the music or its history, they are a less important and/or won’t enjoy it so why spend the money on a ticket. These perceived rules do the opposite of … Continue Reading

Can We Update Our Look To This Century….Please.

What we wear on stage is the first thing audiences absorb. Before the first note is played, even before the orchestra tunes. As musicians filter onto a stage, they are showing the audience information. Why is this important to bring up? Because audiences come to concerts to see and watch while they hear the music. It is important that orchestral musicians look neat and somewhat uniformed because visually, it reinforces that the whole orchestra generates the impact. “Formal Black” is what most musicians understand as Tails or Tux for men and the … Continue Reading

Sharing Creativity Creates Empathy

Earlier this week was the 8th trip into Walker State Faith and Character Based Prison to present a recital. These recitals are interactive in that after each piece is performed, prisoners are invited to share their feelings, thoughts, impressions, and interpretations of the works. Musicians don’t share anything prior to performing. Instead we invite a way of listening that has the suggestion: there are no right answers, there are no rules in interpreting the pieces. This non-profit, Arts Capacity, was started about two years ago now. During that time, we’ve invited world … Continue Reading

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