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

My Bio: The Fabulous Failures Edition

The other day I wondered aloud on Facebook about what a bio with only my failures would look like. So often when we look at our bios, we look amazing. And that’s really the point. However, what we don’t see is the blood, sweat, tears, and failures. Occasionally I have shared some of my own failures or misadventures in my career. So now I have taken the extra step and rewritten my bio with only my failures. Not all of them, but a good amount of failures I thought were the lowest … Continue Reading

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

Send this to a friend