Friday, December 21, 2012

Tough questions.

Hi everyone,

It has been a crazy few weeks with a whirlwind of activity going on in my life.  I attended the El Sistema Symposium in the first week of December and we put on our first concert at St. Anne's!  In between all of that I did two interviews that will be posted soon and have been plenty busy with other musical things!  It's always nice to be busy doing things I love.

The first interview I did was with Ben Zander and the other was with Peter Seymour of Project Trio.  Those will be up as soon as I receive the OK from both of them to post on here.   It's amazing how long it takes to type those things out!  They will be posted as soon as I receive the OK from Ben and Peter to post.

But anyways, I've been doing a lot of thinking the past few weeks about some of the projects I've been working on and some of the projects that I have on my to-do list.  We had an amazing crowd at our first concert at St. Anne's of around 225-250 (which was totally awesome!), but moving forward with this series I have really been trying to identify is why people should care about the work we're doing.  I am very fortunate to have several people in my life that I can go to for guidance on these kinds of things and every single one of them immediately asked "what makes you different from any other performing art group in Philly?"

We're different because we want to directly engage with the surrounding community in anyway we can.  This time we had the church choir and audience singing along with the orchestra.  The challenge moving forward is how to maintain an active working relationship with members of the community in every concert or event we put on.

This community could totally just go downtown to the Kimmel Center and see the Philadelphia Orchestra any given weekend.  But why don't they?  People come from all over to see the Philly Orchestra perform, but there are millions of people that live in Philly that have never even seen an orchestra.  Why should those people come to our performances?  Why should anyone come to ANY performance?  It's certainly a difficult thing to articulate.

I would love to say I've got this all figured out and post our mission statement and vision here, but unfortunately that is still in the works.  I have really been wrestling with these thoughts a lot in the past few weeks but I'm slowly getting some clarity to everything.  But I think it's great to think about and hopefully this inspires some of you to question things yourselves.

Personally, I feel that being a musician doesn't really mean anything if you're not making positive contributions to the world and the people living in it.  True artists make impacts on the communities around them.  What can we do to make our work meaningful?

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this.