Challenge = Opportunity part 4: Turning Green into Gold!

In the Springfield Symphony there are some musicians who have tremendous initiative when it comes to community outreach and education.  One of them presented a proposal to the board last season to help fund a String Trio for a trip to our sister city in Japan as part of of a cultural exchange. It was a great proposal that already had funding attached.  The board approved the funding, the trip happened and it was big success.  In the background from some other musicians however there were some jealous rumblings.  Not anymore…….

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Challenge = Opportunity part 3: Steeling Hearts

In my first post, Out of the Shadows, I mentioned that the musicians of the Pittsburgh Symphony out of all the major orchestras I keep track of, truly demonstrate and care about the audience connection.  Here are two instances of how they turned seemingly hopeless challenges into opportunities. Plus, the first in the series of “On the Go”, what people in the business are listening to right now…..

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Challenge = Opportunity part 2: Loading the Basses!!!

Though nothing to do with the title I am thrilled to welcome to our mad corner of the Internet Jason Heath someone who I don’t know personally but who’s other blog I knew well and enjoyed regularly, I now feel like a total “rookie” on this site!  OK enough with the sport analogies, this is a real sports story.  The St Louis Cardinals AA baseball team, The Springfield Cardinals moved here and into a brand new ballpark, Hammons Field three seasons ago, .  They play 70 Games a year, the average attendance is 7000 a game, and they have 4000 season ticket holders “striking” (couldn’t resist) fear into the hearts of the local arts groups.  Let’s play Ball!

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Challenge = Opportunity part 1: No More Pulp!

This week I want to focus on the idea that challenges can become an opportunities if we don’t let ourselves be defeated.  An orchestra or any arts group for that matter faces so many obstacles to becoming relevant to their community.  One would think that when the local paper suddenly cuts the arts section, that it would be easy to cry “that’s it, we’re done”.  Here, the paper did this recently, but instead of commiserating we are celebrating!

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Save the Wails…..

We think we have it bad when it comes to support and attendance.  Compared to us there is another art form that quite frankly is under siege, existing in a sea of indifference after helping to build our American cultural identity.  The city where it was still thriving is struggling too, through no fault of it’s own, and we lament our situation?

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Chasing our Tails…Conductor Smack Down!

The first in a series of Conductor Smack Downs! The topic what we wear, and what the audience wears has popped up yet again.  We so often don’t have an answer to our audience woes, so why do we turn to fashion to solve our problems?  If we are building a house and we are looking at a hole in the ground where it will eventually be, the window treatments should be the furthest  thing from our minds…. Holly’s Partial Observer article mentions the audience expectations in regards to dress.  I am … Continue Reading


Music is now officially a banned substance at marathons and races by USA Track and Field.  We have finally made the sports pages!  We are now the unfair advantage. I met with a friend in Rochester the other day who told me she can run further when listening to the first movement of the Eroica Symphony.  I should have told her to download some Schoenberg as she would also run faster just to try and get away from the sound! In the immortal words of Bill Maher, I kid Schoenberg.….

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