What do “Orchestra Newcomers” Like and Dislike about the Concert Experience?
January 10, 2017 In: PRJC News
You may have seen the recent article by the California Symphony about their “Orchestra X” program that engaged “orchestra newcomers” in a discussion about the concert-going experience. Some of the insights gleamed from these individuals are predictable (they generally feel unsure of what to wear, and don’t know the names of all the instruments) but as a whole the feedback is fascinating. One takeaway that stands out is the Symphony’s realization that the way they discuss the music selections on their website and marketing materials is too complicated, too wordy, and too long. They also received a fair amount of feedback about program notes; attendees apparently enjoyed having access to information about the music, but liked the stories behind the music’s creation as opposed to information about the musical content itself. Overall it seems that the newcomers were enthusiastic about the orchestra’s performance and the music, which is encouraging. A theme that seemed to emerge is that newcomers want to learn about the orchestra and the musical selections, but perhaps in different ways than orchestras traditional present that information.
It will be interesting to watch the changes that the California Symphony makes (and already has made) and see what impact the changes have on their audiences and their experiences. You can read more about the program and their findings here.