Empty Seats – What Can We Do?

Editor's Abstract

Looking out at the audience during a performance and seeing lots of empty seats is a disheartening experience for any orchestral player. We’ve all heard that old adage about “the graying audience members,” but is it really so? Is there anything we as musicians can do to reverse this trend?
Tina Ward, a clarinetist with the Saint Louis Symphony, has been very active in her own orchestra as ICSOM delegate and has served on many orchestra committees. She was also an American Symphony Orchestra League (ASOL) Orchestra Management Fellow, which gives her a unique perspective on many aspects of orchestra life.
Tina offers her thoughts on what we musicians can do to improve the concert experience for the audience, in terms of employing audio-visual elements, making the concert more exciting for the audience, and enhancing the concert experience as a social event. Her lists of action items for orchestra musicians should instigate some lively conversations among your colleagues!

Ann Drinan

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