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

Stay On The Couch

There are many reasons people don’t go to the symphony. Some have gone in the past and don’t come back, and some don’t come in the first place. Anyone in the industry knows there are amazing musical experiences to enjoy and be a part of. So why are people choosing to stay home or do other activities when there is such a wealth of great concerts to be enjoyed? Below I’ll list several common reasons people opt out. To make this more lighthearted and fun, let’s make this a game. Find one … Continue Reading

Just Stop It With The “No, Because!”

If you are in the arts business, especially orchestra business, chances are you have come across a moment or a meeting where you hear the words: “no, because.” There may have been a great idea, a creative way to do something, but the knee-jerk reaction to that idea was predictably: No. Usually the rejection to the idea was followed up with excuses and reasons why an idea couldn’t be implemented. All that energy spent explaining why something wouldn’t work only adds to the frustration! Over the next couple months, I want to … Continue Reading

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