Drew McManus is in the midst of running a series of essays on his blog Adaptistration for the Take a Friend to Orchestra initiative. He is putting up a new essay each day for the month of April, and I urge readers to check these out. Drew has been running these essays each year since 2005, and this year he asked me to write one for him. I am honored to have been asked to participate in this interesting and worthy project, and I will let readers know when my essay is up on his blog. You can view a list of this year’s contributors here—I’m in good company, and it is very humbling to have my essay up there with the likes of Leonard Slatkin!
Each year, he asks a varied cross section of figures in the music world—orchestra musicians, administrators, and writers. This group of people naturally presents very different perspectives on how one should introduce orchestral music to a newcomer, and browsing through these essays is fascinating.
I’d like to call people’s attention to a mind-blowing graphical representation of the development of an orchestra audience by Bill Harris of Facilitated Systems. These diagrams are utterly fascinating, and they are best experienced by simply visiting Bill’s TAFTO essay.
Looking at these and seeing all of the intricate musician/audience/marketing connections and relationships pin wheeling out in every direction reminds me of a chaotic and organic monster, being fed, with somewhat predictable yet also quite unpredictable tendencies to different variables.
Applying mathematical principles to the life and development of an orchestra audience (the beast that I mentioned above) is something that fascinates me, and I have never seen it depicted as clearly and effectively as Bill manages in this compelling essay.
Check out this post—I guarantee that it will change the way you think about orchestral audiences.