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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Humor in music(ians)

FINALLY! One of the great knocks against classical music is the lack of humor on the part of those of us who are the greatest proponents of the art. This is, of course, specious. Musicians are frequently hilarious, and if the public actually knew what goes on backstage they would be shocked.

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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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Nature vs. Nurture…….(vs. Suzuki……..)

So, I just got back from my eldest’s Suzuki recital. The one thing that I’d recommend to the Suzuki folk is that if you want to make it more interesting you might want to consider an open bar. Other than that all the kids did really well. And then there was the 8 year-old daughter of Raef’s teacher, and my jaw hit the floor.

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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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The Greatest piece you’ve never heard……..

I have two firm and fast rules of music:

1. There are no undiscovered masterpieces – if someone starts waxing poetic about the symphonies of Arnold Bax just nod and move on.

2. Everyone – you, me, the average Joe/Jane on the street – gets to nominate one, and only one piece, that they can claim as their own personal Undiscovered Masterpiece. Here is my choice:

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When even the Brits are ahead of you…. Conductor Smack Down!

There has been much brouhaha concerning concert attire lately. Now, for the record, I love my Tails. They are made by my good and dear friend tailor John here in Minneapolis. John is a self-described stereotypical Italian Jewish tailor who knows much more music than I do and is one of the happiest people I know. He loves his job and I love working with him. When I put on the Tails he made for me it’s like I slip into another world of fancy dress and high society. Or in the … Continue Reading