How not to make audiences feel
I know that audiences can be annoying, and clueless, and distracting, and all the rest – but come on, folks:
I just have to write a letter concerning the recent performance of the Abilene Philharmonic.
Abilenians are a welcoming group who are quick to applaud, and even provide a standing ovation. Yet a beautiful performance was marred by some audience members not understanding symphony behavior. David Itkin should take a few moments at the next performance to explain this. He would be taking advantage of a teachable moment, and doing everyone a huge favor.
Clapping should not occur between movements of a piece, but instead at the end when the conductor turns and faces the audience. If he isn’t facing the audience … don’t clap.
Silence between movements provides an opportunity for rest and reflection for both the performers and audience. Clapping disrupts this.
Just watch the faces of the performers, especially the violinists. They are reacting to David Itkin’s expression of a smile, eye rolling, gasping … or something. I’m afraid they are laughing at us.
Alice Chavez Jones, Abilene
There’s a famous aviation story about a pilot who, after becoming frustrated with a controller, finally came on the radio with “Am I up here because you’re down there, or are you down there because I’m up here?” I think it would be good for us to remember that we’re on stage and getting paid because there are people who want to hear us – and not the other way around.
Giving the audience the impression that we’re laughing at them is not the way to a community’s heart.