Welcome back to school, beloved readers! While this is the first week of classes, we know what that really means… a week of syllabi, with minimal homework. And what, in turn, does that mean? I think it means more time to catch up with your Music Library blogging!
We’ll begin the semester with a cool linked article from the Washington Post. It describes exciting new initiatives by the National Symphony Orchestra and the Washington Performing Arts Society (WPAS) to build connections between the current classical music community and a potential larger audience in the city.
Cool concert posters, too!
The “NSO in Your Neighborhood” program finds members of the NSO coming to different areas of DC and putting on performances for free, in a manner already adopted by orchestras in Philadelphia, Detroit and more. Recent venues include schools, community centers and even Union Station. Smaller, more “portable” chamber groups have even performed in coffee shops! These free concerts do away with the two biggest obstacles to spreading classical music in Washington: location and cost. Now, rather than slogging out to the Kennedy Center or shelling out big bucks to get in, many more Washingtonians can enjoy a free show, brought to their neighborhood.
WPAS, in a different attempt to build the classical community, is planning to use an “urban arts curator” to find local, nonprofessional musical talents to collaborate with. Both of these programs have the potential to reposition classical music as a more community-friendly genre. They are both increasing the visibility as well as the accessibility of classical music, and it will be interesting to see how it works out.