Surprise! It’s Not The Customer Who Comes First, It’s The Employees.

Very often I hear of people not feeling welcome in the orchestral world. Some people can feel too intimidated to even come to an orchestral concert, and those who do go to a concert can find their experience to be distancing or off-putting. Orchestras mostly know this but don’t really know how to effectively combat it. Some orchestras try to go the full opposite of what they perceive as offering an anti-elitism experience but miss the mark with sincerity in their singular goal: the pursuit of gaining butts in seats. What needs … Continue Reading

Take That Cellphone And…

After all of the hubbub from a recent concert where a cell phone was out and recording a performance, there has been an amazing amount of commentary ranging from shaming the person with the phone to shaming the artist who reacted to the situation. To me, neither of that matters because it’s after the fact; it’s all reactions turning into individuals getting on personal soap boxes to proclaim their opinions about what the artist should have done, or what the cell phone user should have known. Neither point is productive and neither … Continue Reading

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

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