Ron Spigelman

TAFTO 2008 Contribution: Ron Spigelman

When Drew asked me to write for TAFTO I immediately agreed as it has been a favorite series of mine to read especially since it is such a proactive approach. However since I am mostly in performances and not watching them, I was initially stumped on the angle to take. I have invited many friends to attend in the past, some have become subscribers and one recently became a board member and now heads up Crescendo, a patrons social group at the Springfield Symphony that she herself formed. Since I write extensively on the subject of Orchestras and their relationships with their audiences and communities over on Sticks and Drones, I decided to bring to TAFTO an assignment that I gave to my Audience Connections class at Drury University. The assignment was to do a review of two different performances by the Springfield Symphony, one a Classics, the other a Pops. The class had 4 students last semester so 2 went to the Classics and 2 to the Pops and I sat them in different parts of the hall. These however were reviews with a twist (literally), for they were not there to review the orchestra’s performance, because I told them to turn their backs on us and instead review the audience!