Posts Tagged ‘blog contest’

  1. From Cartoons to Social Media – How Do You Make Classical Music Accessible?

    For years “cartoons put art music in ordinary people’s lives in everyday ways.” The hijinks of Bugs Bunny, Mickey Mouse, and Porky Pig set to classical music’s greatest hits certainly served as an entry point for one generation of music lovers. But what are the entry points of today? This post by Paulla Ebron won an honorable mention in the American Orchestra Forum blog contest.

    I have to admit that one of my first exposures to classical music was while watching old Looney Tunes cartoons. Colorful and irreverent, these animated snippets drew the attention of many young listeners whose living rooms became little concert hall. As viewers, we sat captivated by the characters, Bugs Bunny, Mickey Mouse, and Porky Pig either conducting or turning their comic appearance to perform something like. “The Hare of Seville.”

    Cartoons put art music in ordinary people’s lives in everyday ways. They did so by naturalizing the music and making art music seem accessible. Admittedly, the rowdy crowds depicted in these cartoons are a bit unorthodox by conventional standards.

    Formalists’ stomachs will turn at the thought of a popular genre meeting the staid conventions associated with high art. These same people would likely be upset (more…)

  2. Attracting Younger Audiences – A College Student’s Perspective

    Today’s biggest challenge for orchestras? Getting enthusiastic young people into the concert hall. This blog post by Bernard Lin won an honorable mention in our recent American Orchestra Forum blog contest. He is student at Rutgers University in New Jersey.

    Young audiences undoubtedly generate the most enthusiasm in music of all genres. Their willingness to buy merchandise, attend concerts, and constantly blast music indicate their ability to follow their favorite artists with utmost intensity. Half a century ago, a young Leonard Bernstein captured the hearts of children across America as he led the New York Philharmonic in Young People’s Concerts, teaching them the basics of music, introducing them to titans such as Mahler and Tchaikovsky, even opening a door to jazz. In the 21st century there seems to be an unfilled void, a gap that (more…)

  3. “Audience Experience” Starts Long Before the Lights Dim – How to Improve the Customer Journey

    In this blog post, James Buckhouse, head of the Corporate Design team at Twitter, offers a new approach to “audience experience” using techniques drawn from technology and consulting companies. This post is the third of three winning entries from our recent American Orchestra Forum blog contest.

    Blog contest winner James Buckhouse

    Your audience experiences your organization long before the lights dim and far past the final ovation. Inspired by the TED talk by Peter Gregson on the user experience of the performing arts, this free downloadable workshop adapts techniques from technology and consulting companies to help performing arts organizations take care of their audience.

    Other industries map this path as an extended customer journey. Performing Arts organizations can borrow this process to create an extended audience experience.

    In a way, every arts organization perpetually remains a start-up: new music emerges from the chasm of cultural shifts, new audience members catch the drift; new ideas tilt the emphasis from one approach to another; new means of distribution and communication mingle our lives and our art in a braid of narrativity.

    So let’s start! Let’s start up a new approach to the arts that proves value and retains the best of the old traditions, but also celebrates the birth of art—the new and unnamed—and dares to iterate.

    –James Buckhouse

    Download the Audience Experience Workshop PDF

    Right-click the link above to download the workshop PDF or find it here:

    James Buckhouse leads the Corporate Design team at Twitter, where he oversees the creation, production, strategy and design of all video and visual material for the company. Additionally, he is the founder of Prior to Twitter, he was Executive Creative Director at Duarte where he worked with Facebook, Google, HP and other high-profile tech companies. From 1996-2008, James built his story skills as a cinematographer and choreographer at DreamWorks Animation. James also served as a production designer for New York City Ballet, Oregon Ballet Theatre, and Pennsylvania Ballet.

  4. What Professional Organizations Can Learn from Community Orchestras

    Are professional orchestras pursuing artistic excellence at the cost of a true sense of community? In this blog post, Sam Tepperman-Gelfant argues that professional groups must “take the process of building community as seriously as they do perfecting their performances.” This post is the second of three winning entries from our recent American Orchestra Forum blog contest.

    Sam Tepperman-Gelfant

    Blog contest winner Sam Tepperman-Gelfant

    Community: it’s not just a polite word for amateur, it is the heart and soul of America’s thriving non-professional symphonies. Community orchestras deftly bridge the gap between classical performance and contemporary life that presents a daunting challenge to the future of classical music in this country. Building community is all about building relationships. The web of personal connections among performers, audience members, and the music itself give these groups a consistent energy and audience that many professional groups struggle to achieve.

    I’ve played cello in the Bay Area Rainbow Symphony (BARS), for nearly five years now, and it’s hard to imagine life without it. Wednesday evenings I leave behind the workday to spend time with Brahms and Ravel, and also with my stand partner, David, and the other close friends I’ve made through the group. Many of us haven’t been motivated to practice since high school or college, but the camaraderie and connection (more…)

  5. What do the future of American Orchestras and the America’s Cup have in common?

    The America’s Cup and the American Orchestra have more in common than you might think, as Cheeko Matsusaka explores in this blog post. Originally from Newton, Massachusetts, Cheeko Matsusaka currently lives in Sarasota, Florida where she is a cellist with the Sarasota Orchestra. Hers is the first of three winning blog posts from our recent American Orchestra Forum blog contest.

    Blog contest winner Cheeko Matsusaka

    Have we all focused too much on the [America’s] Cup’s proven past rather than understanding its potential? As such, the resulting changes are substantial. It is crucial to end the uncertainty and lay the groundwork for continuity. To put in place a calendar of regular racing; exciting racing that is shorter and sharper and more spectacular. Racing that matches the expectations of the Facebook generation, not the Flintstone generation.
    — Russell Coutts, CEO Oracle Racing

    What does the future of American Symphony Orchestras and the America’s Cup have in common? Aside from San Francisco, quite a lot. I’ve been following the event since the late 90′s and have always felt a strange sort of empathy for the Cup. It seems to share a common thread with professional music’s efforts to honor traditions and still allow the art to grow and have relevance to in a modern world. Both share the potential for breathtaking displays of beauty and power, but suffer from the old stereotype of closed doors and aloofness. Both struggle to dispel those misconceptions without alienating those who already support it. Both are trying to reach out to a new generation by jumping head first into the overwhelming mass of new technologies. The American Orchestra thoughtfully hesitates at this precipice, but the America’s Cup has the taken the fateful leap. I am watching carefully and taking detailed notes. If the planned America’s Cup event can maneuver a safe landing, they will serve as a standard bearer of adaptation and evolution in an era plagued by threats of extinction.

    The thread between Orchestras and the America’s Cup resurfaced when I was having a bit of a disagreement with one of my colleagues. We were talking about a web and Facebook page for the musicians in my orchestra. The colleague thought we should focus our energies on a static webpage and forget about Facebook. He thought Facebook was a fad that would run its course. In addition, he feared we risked alienating people who didn’t do Facebook. Was he serious? (more…)