The Philadelphia Orchestra at 100
6. Promotion And Education
FRANK J. OTERI: Let’s talk about education a little bit. I know that you’ve made this promotional CD for the season, and, Ed, this was basically your brainchild, if I’m not mistaken.
EDWARD CAMBRON: Well, no. It was really an idea that came out of a natural excitement about the season. As people began to ask a lot of questions, Simon put together a collection of musical samples to share with the staff of the orchestra so that everyone could hear a few things they may not have been familiar with. And it was amazing the applause that came from the administration of the orchestra and how excited they became. We all saw that, and it was the kind of goose bump we wanted to give our audience. We put together the project through that.
FRANK J. OTERI: What’s the plan for the CD in terms of getting the word out?
EDWARD CAMBRON: The CD sampler is kind of a tool to get people to subscribe. So we’re trying to get it in the hands of people who might have a little hesitation about the season, those people who are stuck in the 20th century label, so we’re doing a lot of prospecting of culturally active Philadelphians, former subscribers, and the like. It’s a sales tool. I don’t really view it as an educational piece, so we’re really not positioning it as something to use as part of our education program. We are doing a lot of other things on the education front.
SIMON WOODS: We have a new director of education and community projects who’s just joined us. He’s an extremely thoughtful and highly articulate person.
EDWARD CAMBRON: In terms of adult education, we’re doing a lot more stage commentary, and we have a growing series of concert conversations that feature different composers and conductors. Paul Horsley, our program annotator and resident musicologist, leads a lot of those. That’s a very popular series of adult or audience education. The other thing we’re doing is we have a great program with Temple Music Prep, here in Philadelphia, where we have a series of onstage lectures, opportunities for audience members to meet musicians, they get to hear a little bit about how critics write reviews, that’s an adult education program that we’re excited about as well. In addition to that, we have a great many events for the children of Philadelphia, a very exciting program that we’re working on with Settlement Music School, taking our musicians into the school system.
JOSEPH H. KLUGER: I just wanted to add that while Gary has come on board and is helping us make a complete reevaluation of all our education programs, we hope to be coming out in the near future with a new plan that really makes educational activities, particular for children, part of the core activity of what we do in the 21st century. We’ve had a long history of doing educational activities, but they, in my opinion, too much focused on ancillary kind of things you need to do because it’s politically correct to do educational activities. We’ve come to the realization that it is not merely important for long term audience development, but it really ought to be part of our mission to be focusing on this as part of the core of what we do.