I had the pleasure of meeting Chris Felcyn, producer and program host for Detroit’s WRCJ-FM, 90.9, for the first time only a few months ago. Although we had a great on-air conversation, it was heartening to learn during our off-air chats about his efforts over the years to promote classical music. Chris enthusiastically jumped into the role of TAFTO contributor by putting together three stand-alone audio contributions that feature Chris interacting with concert-goer newbies. Honest and entertaining feedback abounds in each segment (I hope the DSO marketing department is listening. ~ Drew McManus
I’ve been with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra in one capacity or another for a long time, so I’ve had many opportunities to introduce friends to an orchestral concert experience. I find that most people are quite eager to try a new experience in the company of someone they trust, which is why TAFTO is probably the most effective way of sharing our art form with new attendees. If you’ve had the same opportunity, you are well aware of the myriad questions that accompany such an outing – everything from “What do I wear?” to “Why does the orchestra tune to the oboe?” to “How much does a conductor make?”
“The Artist came from a musical family”
A sentence like this usually is in the first few lines of most performer bios (that’s when I’m still awake while reading them), and sometimes gives me a twinge of envy.
After all, I didn’t come from a musical family, far from it, and such a statement implies that there needs to be some sort of genetic code for one to understand music at the highest level. That premise can be dismissed out of hand. Then again, TAFTO has made me consider the following, if I didn’t come from a musical family, how did I get hooked?
Hey there, music fans. Curious what goes on in symphony hall after dark? Welcome to Take a Friend to the Orchestra 2009, your one and only source for how to party with the orchestral elite. Whether it’s Schubert or Schoenberg the natives are snacking on, anyone can take a taste if they know which fork to use. And you don’t have to wear black to the ball, Cinderella. This club’s not as uptight as you might think.
Like finding something decent to watch on cable TV, determining which concert to attend from a season brochure can take some clicking. If the names and faces leave you feeling about as intelligent as your last attempt to read the Economist, don’t drop out yet. Classical music can require class of all sorts, and this introductory course might entail a little Google-ing. No shame in that, and if your search results aren’t giving you what you need, you can always phone a friend.
May is “Take a Friend to Orchestra Month,” a new initiative started by Drew McManus, author of the blog “Adaptistration”, in order to bring newcomers to the concert hall. In the spirit of the month, Drew has taken host John Schaefer’s brother Jerry to a concert by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Jerry has previously never been to an orchestral concert, busy as he is running a lumber yard in Queens. Today, we get Jerry’s reaction to the experience when both he and Drew join us on the program.