WQXR Discussion – American Orchestras: Endangered Species?

Hi blog readers!

Today’s blog is a little bit impromptu. I happened to stumble upon a link to this video featuring Tony Woodcock, the president of New England Conservatory (my Alma mater). The full list of presenters as taken from the WQXR website are:

Anne Parsons, President and Executive Director of the Detroit Symphony
Alan Pierson, Artistic Director of the Brooklyn Philharmonic
Eric Jacobsen, Co-Artistic Director of The Knights
Tony Woodcock, President of the New England Conservatory
Raymond M. Hair, Jr., President of the American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada

Use this link to see the video:
http://www.wqxr.org/articles/wqxr-features/2011/apr/18/american-orchestras-endangered-species/

I found this video to be really interesting, as the speakers spoke at length about outreach, music education in communities, and the varied programs by large symphony orchestras and chamber ensembles. The five speakers seemed to have been situated according to their business and musical principals, with the president of the musician’s union at one end and Woodcock on the other. They sparred often about the plentiful number of ways to present music to as many as possible and the availability of funding to make those presentations happen. At A Street Music, we’ve been trying to figure out the best way to bring music to our community in Quincy and to keep our doors open, so both opinions resonated for me to some extent (the idealism of Woodcock and the realism of Raymond Hair).

The other panelists had great points as well. I especially enjoyed listening to the younger people leading music ensembles in Brooklyn. They discussed ways to present music in a modern age and the desire musicians have to find ways to perform and to find money with which to perform. Musicians naturally believe that musical engagement is important to artistic-experience and learning, but it’s not always easy to find the resources to get people involved.

I’d like to know what you think about this video. I think you’ll find it really interesting, and I hope it inspires some comments. How can we apply the things they are talking about in Quincy? What is your experience with musical outreach or engagement? To what extent does Quincy foster a culture of music-making and musical engagement?

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About Justin Stanley, Teaching-Artist
I'm a musician and educator based in Boston, MA.

2 Responses to WQXR Discussion – American Orchestras: Endangered Species?

  1. Pingback: Demi Moore

  2. Pingback: Wqxr | TagHall

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