Guest Blog Post: Concert Etiquette and Clapping Between Movements by Katie Heilman

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Today’s blog post is written by guest, Katie Heilman. Katie is a regular attendee at Schubert Club concerts, a member of Schubert Club’s Theoroi program, program assistant at GTCYS (Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphony), composer, and oboist. Learn more about Katie here.


Have you ever been to another country and found yourself confused by the customs of everyday life surrounding you? Or have you gone to a wedding of a different culture from your own and saw people saying certain things at certain times or dressing a certain way, and you felt out of place?

I’ve had several conversations recently with friends and colleagues about the state of classical music and diversity. One thing I’ve been thinking about in particular lately is concert etiquette. Concert etiquette is what I suspect turns many people off from attending classical music concerts (besides cost). There’s this idea that classical music is really stuffy, and when you think about it… it kind of is. Most concerts in other musical genres expect noisy audiences, clapping when you like something, and coming and going as you need to. Not so with classical concerts. The vast majority of classical concerts expect audiences to be quiet, only clap at the very end of the piece, and you better not leave during the middle of a piece!

I grew up in a musical family and didn’t learn that you weren’t supposed to clap in between movements until I was at a Baltimore Symphony Orchestra concert, probably in late middle school (a few years after I’d started playing an instrument), and I started clapping after the first movement of whatever symphony they were playing, because it just made sense. It wasn’t until I got a weird look from my mom that I realized that wasn’t “okay.” When people start clapping between movements of a piece, I see that same weird look get passed along through the “regulars” at the concert. I’ve seen this happen twice in the last few months. The first was during the Sphinx Virtuosi concert at the Ordway, where the vast majority of the audience was people of color (especially younger people of color). The second was just this past weekend, when the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra performed Mozart’s third violin concerto to an audience with several students (they all certainly looked younger than me). The common thread between these two audiences, besides clapping between movements? They weren’t your stereotypical classical music demographic!

Here’s my philosophy on clapping between movements (or other “breaches” of classical etiquette): if people are clapping between each movement, they aren’t necessarily being rude. It’s probably because they don’t know about this weird tradition we have that really only dates back to the end of the 19th century or so. That means there’s a good chance they’re probably first-timers at an orchestra concert, which is awesome! And yes, there are some pieces where’s it’s nice to have that silence in between movements (slow Mahler for sure), but Mozart or Haydn? Clapping in between movements was standard back in their day – sometimes, if the audience really liked something, they’d demand a second run-through of a movement or section. I’ve attended a bunch of more “informal” chamber concerts at coffee shops and art museums where you’ll even have people chatting in the background. For a first-timer at a classical concert, going to the orchestra probably feels the same as being a foreigner in another country. There are so many customs that we’ve been doing for years that a newbie isn’t going to automatically know, and they might feel lost and alienated when people stare at them for not doing the “correct” procedures.

It’s great when the administrative side of an organization is working to bring in new audiences, but in order for this to be successful, we as current audience members need to be more welcoming and patient when new audiences don’t automatically know the culture. Administrators, if you really want to make sure that your program is quiet and that audiences wait until the end to clap, then just make an announcement before the concert. They do this sometimes at the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra when they have a program that interweaves other pieces throughout a larger piece, and it doesn’t feel out of place at all. Imagine how much more welcomed new audience members would feel if we let them know when it’s appropriate to clap, instead of assuming? It’s like when you have someone over to your house for a party, and you let them know where the restroom is, where to leave their coat, and where to put the food they brought. On the other hand, maybe it’s time to take a lesson from the newcomers and bring back clapping between movements of certain pieces. Trust me, Haydn is a lot more fun when you let yourself get a little rowdy.

An Interview with Schubert Club President Dorothy Horns

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For today’s blog post, our Patron Relations Manager, Kelsey Norton, conducted a short interview with current Board President, Dorothy Horns. 

  1. How long have you been involved with Schubert Club, and how did you make the decision to accept becoming board president?
    My husband and I have been subscribers since we returned to Minnesota in the early 1980s.  Bruce Carlson asked me to be on the Board; I started my Board service in 2006. I love that this is a board of music lovers who come from all walks of life and who actively participate in the Board. I was delighted to be asked to lead such a great group of people who support such a fantastic organization. And, as Board president I get to work even more closely with the wonderful, dedicated, hardworking Schubert Club staff.
  1. What makes the Schubert Club mission meaningful to you?
    Schubert Club’s threefold emphasis on concert presentation, museum, and education.
  1. What are some of the future goals you want to achieve as Schubert Club Board President?
    I want to see Schubert Club continue to present top-quality performances at reasonable prices, introduce as many people as possible to the joys of chamber and recital music, diversify our audiences, present music by composers of diverse backgrounds, let the world know about our fabulous Museum, expand educational programs to help build the next generation of music lovers… I could go on and on with a lot more ideas!
  1. Do you have a history with classical music?
    I was lucky to have parents who believed that a liberal, humanistic education is necessary to living an informed, rich life. A crucial part of this was exposure to the arts. They started taking us to Minnesota Orchestra concerts and Metropolitan Opera performances at Northrop Auditorium when we were in grade school. I sang in the church, school, and college choir, and studied piano, clarinet (school band), and classical guitar.  Most recently I had the good fortune to study piano with Mary Barbara Ferguson Spake, daughter of Donald Ferguson. What a pleasure that was! All these experiences gave me a deep appreciation of music that informs my current position as a professional audience member.
  1. Have you served on any other boards in the Twin Cities?
    I was on a Minnesota Opera junior board in the 1980s. In my professional arena, I was President of the University of Minnesota Medical School Alumni Society in the 1990s. The rest of my spare time has been spent working with the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Board of Ophthalmology.
  1. Which is your personal favorite of Schubert Club’s music series to attend?
    I love them all. Some of my happiest hours have been spent in concert halls.
  1. What do you do outside of your work with Schubert Club? How do you most enjoy spending free time?
    I am a physician, an ophthalmologist specializing in the treatment of glaucoma. I am spending a lot of time working on a committee at the medical school. Free time? What free time?
  1. In your opinion, why is classical music still important in today’s society?
    Well, I agree with the Schubert Club tagline: “Because what is life without music.” All music can communicate directly with the soul without words or images.  Classical music has a rich language, simply by listening you can understand it and be transported and transformed.

November 2 “First Thursday” in the Museum: Music Boxes and Phonographs!

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The Schubert Club Museum will be open late on this Thursday, Nov 2 from 4-8pm. Gather your friends, and join us!

This month we are highlighting the distinctive sweet voices of our music box and phonograph collection, dating back to 1900. Thomas Kuehn, Professor Emeritus in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Minnesota and the current Vice President of the Musical Box Society International will demonstrate these fascinating mechanical musical instruments along with other machines that were developed to play instruments such as the pipe organ, reed organ, violin, harp and banjo.

Plus, enjoy wine, refreshments, trivia and interactive fun and music-making throughout the Schubert Club Museum.

Learn more here

Video Blog: Schubert Club’s Bruce P. Carlson Student Scholarship Competition

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At our Bruce P. Carlson Student Scholarship competition earlier in 2017, Schubert Club board member and media professional Peter Myers roved the corridors and practice rooms of Augsburg University’s music department with a video camera, talking to students about the competition, about what it means to be a competitor and what they get out of participating.  

November is here and applications for the 2018 Student Scholarship Competition are now being accepted!   The competition will take place in February/March 2018.  We award scholarships totaling over $50,000 annually to young musicians to be used for further musical education.  Check out the new video which shines a light on what makes the competition so special, from the mouths of our competitors themselves. Take a look, and whether you’re a music student yourself or know a budding young musician, be sure to tell everyone to get their applications in by January 19, 2018

 

Now Hiring: Education and Community Engagement Associate

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POSITION SUMMARY

The Education and Community Outreach Associate supports the Education and Museum Director (EMD) in the delivery of all education and community-based programs.  The role includes administrative office-based work and community-based interaction with partners and program participants (students and adults) primarily in the Twin Cities community.   The position is new and is being added to the administrative team in response to initiatives outlined in Schubert Club’s latest strategic plan.

RESPONSIBILITIES

Assist the Education & Museum Director (EMD) with the administration and set up of all Schubert Club education and community outreach programs to ensure all programs are managed effectively for maximum impact.

  • Assist in processing registrations and applications for various programs including Special Music Grants, Jazz Piano Workshop, Student Scholarship Competition, Five Dollar Scholar.
  • Prepare venue and artist contracts.
  • Organize payment confirmations with Finance Manager for a variety of fee payments (e.g. teaching artists, judges) and scholarships/financial awards.
  • Prepare travel and program itineraries for artists, clinicians and judges.
  • Assist EMD in planning, designing and gathering/purchasing materials for hands-on classroom/workshop projects for education events (KidsJam, Family Arts Blast).
  • Process data and prepare reports of program experiences, surveys and evaluations. Collaborate with EMD in setting goals and assessing program effectiveness.
  • Prepare information packets for board committee members and participants – Special Music Grants, Student Scholarship Competition.
  • Assemble and update program and promotional information for the website manager for all SC Education programming and activities.
  • Maintain current contact information for education program participants – teachers, students, artists, venue managers, etc.
  • Assist EMD in the coordination of program activities at scheduled education events.
  • Assist EMD in coordinating publicity for education events, e.g. printed pieces, signage, website promotional information
  • Coordinate piano rentals, tunings and any other equipment needs for events and programs – Jazz Piano Workshop, Student Scholarship Competition, KidsJam

 

Represent Schubert Club in a wide range of relationships with program participants and community partners in support of Schubert Club’s mission and goals.

  • Communicate processes and logistics to participants in programs such as $5 Scholar, Special Music Grants, Jazz Piano Workshop, KidsJam, Student Scholarship Competition
  • Attend meetings and workshops in Schubert Club spaces and community venues and ensure events are properly prepared and run smoothly.
  • Attend community & classroom events/programs as requested to assist in future programming decisions.

 

Support and foster Schubert Club’s collaborative business practices to ensure that all business activities support Schubert Club’s mission successfully.

  1. Assist with setting up concerts and events as requested.
  2. Assist with onsite concert and event support.
  3. Assist with office-wide projects as needed.
  4. Act as a steward and liaison with the public at Schubert Club events, to foster the positive reputation of Schubert Club.
  5. Other duties as assigned.

 

QUALIFICATIONS AND LICENSES/CERTIFICATIONS

  • Bachelor’s degree in Music, Music Education, Arts Administration or related field 

 

EXPERIENCE PREFERRED

  • At least 2 years experience in arts administration, community programming or equivalent
  • Teaching or classroom experience
  • Experience in non-profit organization
  • Ability to communicate effectively verbally and in writing

 

OTHER REQUIREMENTS

  • Moving instruments and equipment (up to 40 pounds)

  • Computer skills required; Word & Excel, Microsoft software

  • Access to independent transportation, valid driver’s license and current vehicle insurance, with willingness to drive to different community sites and transport materials as needed

  • Must be available for occasional evening and weekend hours

  • Must pass a criminal background check

 

Applications deadline Monday, November 6.  Interviews will be scheduled the week of November 13.

If interested in this position, please submit resume and cover letter to:
Kate Cooper, Director of Education and Museum

What Makes a Great Place For a Concert?

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One reason (of many) why I find my position at the Schubert Club so interesting is that we present concerts and recitals in so many venues. It means that I am always happy to hear from people about performance spaces they’ve enjoyed. Though I’ve lived in the Twin Cities since 1995 (with a 5-year hiatus in London), and I’ve been lucky to attend many live arts events all over the place, I am still learning about new spaces where Schubert Club might present live music. This curiosity for new venues is especially relevant for our Schubert Club Mix series which got underway for its fifth season last week at Aria in Minneapolis.

Mix (as it is inevitably shortened to) is our concert series designed to appeal to music lovers who prefer live performances with less formality and concert ritual. We’re intentionally informal; artists interact with the audience more; and we go to extra efforts to make the ambiance in the venue more relaxed than it is likely to be in a more traditional concert hall like our wonderful Ordway (home of the International Artist Series) or a church like St Anthony Park UCC (home of Music in the Park Series). 

As we plan future years of Schubert Club Mix, I will always be on the look out for new and interesting spaces. There are three primary criteria in a space which factor in assessing a space’s suitability for presenting concerts: Acoustic, location, & ambiance.

Acoustic: kind of obvious, but not all big rooms with large volumes sound the same. We’re blessed in the Twin Cities with several venues which have truly world-class acoustics for unamplified music – the Ordway and Orchestra Hall are at the top of that list. The recent removal of carpet and other changes at St Anthony Park’s United Church of Christ have made an extraordinary difference, making this church a wonderful place to listen to chamber music. Not all venues can have superlative acoustics though. What I always look for is a balance of resonance and clarity, and the confidence that the sound produced by musicians and their instruments really fills the space.

Location: it’s not only important to present concerts in locations which are convenient for an audience to get to, but also that they have amenities close by like parking, restaurants and bars and that the whole experience of going out for the evening feels safe and enjoyable. 

Ambiance:  slightly more difficult to put one’s finger on, ambiance is, I believe, hugely significant to an audience member’s enjoyment of an event – and thus an important factor in the decision whether to return another time. Ambiance can be created by the look or architecture of a space, its history, the welcome of our staff and ushers, lighting, even an aroma or some kind of association that is personal to an individual. A great example of this is the comment I hear regularly at Aria when audience members nostalgically remember performances by Theater de la Jeune Lune ten or more years ago.

Since Schubert Club has no primary performance space, we will always be on the look out for new possible venues. This nomadic approach to presenting concerts is, I think, a strength and opportunity for Schubert Club.  We can seek out spaces which suit different performers and meet the needs of different audience members. As our new strategic plan calls for the organization to make connections with new communities, we need to pursue our curiosity to find gathering spaces which we haven’t yet come across.  I’ll be pleased to hear from anyone who has venues or community connections they would like to recommend.

 

 

 

 

Join us for the first ever “First Thursday” in the Schubert Club Museum

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Today’s blog post is by Education & Museum Director, Kate Cooper. 

So often I hear from visitors of the Schubert Club Museum how surprised they are that we have such an impressive collection of historical music instruments and original manuscripts in addition to the opportunities they have to interact with items in the collection, adding to a memorable hands-on experience. The phrase “….a hidden gem in the Twin Cities” is relayed to me almost weekly.

Since the opening of our galleries on the 2nd floor of Landmark Center, the Museum has been open to the public weekday afternoons from Noon-4 pm in addition to Sunday afternoons. We feel like there is a segment of the Twin Cities population that has been missing out on this “hidden gem” primarily because it is not accessible during hours that are convenient to them. Those visitors who work 9-5 during the week and have other priorities on Sundays really never get the opportunity to visit!

Thus, we are thrilled to announce extended hours in the museum on the first Thursday of every month from 4-8 pm beginning October 5. We hope to be more accessible to the daytime working crowd; we are trying to be more symbiotic with times that people are heading or staying downtown with social and entertainment plans; and we are designating this one evening to offer opportunities separate from school and other public daytime tour crowds.

In addition to the engaging permanent collection, visitors can experience during these extended hours: guided tours, live demonstrations, fun interactive music-making, trivia contests with opportunities to win tickets for Schubert Club performances. And while exploring, visitors 21+ can enjoy a glass of wine along with appetizers and other refreshments for all! 

We hope to see visitors returning several late evenings throughout the year. There will always be something new to see, hear and experience and unique fascinating facts about music and history to learn.  

This first late evening in October will feature our favorite keyboard technician and research specialist, Steve Misener, who will demonstrate cool things and tell fascinating stories about three 18th and 19th century English keyboards.  The first time I saw Steve “dissect” a keyboard I was completely captivated by the intricacies of these magnificent instruments and how the parts all work together to produce their beautiful sounds. Steve also has a gift for remembering and sharing the fascinating stories behind these instruments and their makers.

In addition, we will have keyboardist Donald Livingston compare two of our 18th and 19th century keyboard replicas, the way they work, the musicians who played them, and the most famous pieces relevant to each. Visitors will have an opportunity to plunk out few notes of their own on these instruments as well.

This fun and fact-filled evening of short segments of music talks and demonstrations will enlighten and entertain! It will be a very relaxed atmosphere and there’s no pressure to take part in anything if you’d happily just explore the galleries and enjoy a glass of wine with friends. There will be plenty of joyful sounds filling the galleries – from visitors trying their hand at Indonesian gamelan music, a historic music box playing a beautiful tune filled with chiming bells, or Donald performing a charming Baroque piece on an 18th century French harpsichord replica. Be sure to mark your first Thursday evenings on the calendar, and I’ll look forward to seeing you in the galleries!

Congratulations to Clara Osowski and Tyler Wottrich who won the Richard Tauber Prize for the best interpretation of Schubert Lieder at Wigmore Hall, London

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Congratulations to local mezzo-soprano Clara Osowski and pianist Tyler Wottrich who were finalists in the recent Wigmore Hall International Song Competition in London, and indeed they won the Richard Tauber Prize for the best interpretation of Schubert Lieder.  Clara’s outstanding voice and magical song interpretations are very familiar to Schubert Club regulars and supporters of the Source Song Festival.  

The day after the competition, Clara and Tyler were interviewed on BBC Radio 3  by Ian Skelly.  The 2 hour radio show, “In Tune” can be heard here for another 3 weeks.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b093m4kc
Clara and Tyler’s interview and song performances begin at about 3 minutes and end at 22 minutes.

There is also a lovely review of their performance in the competition itself in Britain’s Daily Telegraph.  
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/music/what-to-listen-to/romanian-hero-brought-vividly-life-enescu-festival-bucharest/

Announcing “First Thursdays” in the Schubert Club Museum (and new hours)

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Beginning in October, our Museum will stay open until 8pm on the first Thursday of every month. We invite you to come join us on these evenings for live demonstrations, music-making, trivia and complimentary wine. 

Beginning in September, the Museum will now be closed on Tuesdays except for special tours. The Museum will be open SundayMonday, Wednesday, Thursday and Fridays from 12pm to 4pm. As always, the Museum remains FREE for all visitors. 

Learn more here

Now Hiring: Patron Relations Manager

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Patron Relations Manager

Full-Time (non-exempt)

Reports to Tessa Retterath Jones, Marketing Director

Schedule/Hours: Regular business hours with frequent evening and weekend hours

POSITION SUMMARY

The Patron Relations Manager is responsible for ticketing and box office services, marketing assistance, audience and donor database management, and development assistance. This position reports to the Marketing Director and takes additional direction from the Director of Development

MAJOR RESPONSIBILITIES

  1. Oversee the day-to-day operations of Schubert Club ticket office duties, phone line responsibilities, and day-of-concert counter sales to result in efficient and accurate transactions, streamlined and updated processes and practices, and a seamless customer service experience
    1. Answer ticket office calls and process ticket orders, turn backs and exchanges; print and mail tickets on a daily basis; monitor unbalanced orders and online subscriptions; and coordinate complimentary and special ticketing requests
    2. Manage ticket office operations on concert nights, handling all aspects of the ticket purchasing experience
    3. Coordinate day-of concert logistics including pre-printed tickets, cash requests, signage, special promotions, etc
    4. Reconcile cash, credit and checks, complete event settlements, enter information into AudienceView, and provide necessary back-up reports for every concert or event
    5. Keep detailed notes on customer requests, preferences and feedback
    6. Monitor reconciliation of cash receipts and electronic deposits of credit card transactions from all ticket sales, developing procedures for accurate handling of all legal tender until deposit
    7. Execute the subscription process including processing orders, tracking and fulfilling seating requests, following up with patrons, and tracking sales for weekly reports
    8. Identify recurring problems in meeting general customer expectations and suggest solutions to Marketing Director
  1. Build and coordinate ticketing and development/fundraising systems within AudienceView including series, concerts, pricing charts, subscription, venues, promotional offers, funds management structure and updates to result in updated systems, optimum productivity, and efficient sales flow that result in seamless customer service transactions
    1. Coordinate the ticketing facets of the organization’s Customer Relations Management (CRM) database, including but not limited to: Venues, Series, Performances, Price Charts, Subscription, Promotional Offers, and Ticket Templates
    2. Update phone prompts in automated phone tree
    3. Ensure all offers are built accurately and according to what has been approved, testing all offers prior to their on sale
    4. Update ticketed events as needed or required by marketing efforts
    5. Work with AudienceView representatives to improve sales flow and implement new functionality to enhance sales and ease of customer experience
    6. Pull regular and special reports from AudienceView, ensuring they are distributed to appropriate staff
    7. Pull reports on fund structure, development reports, and development data
    8. First point of contact with Finance Manager regarding transaction details
  1. Provide administrative support including website monitoring, data generation, and email process to assist the Marketing Director and create efficiencies for marketing activities
    1. Maintain a working knowledge of the Marketing Director’s job duties to fill in as needed
    2. Attend training, configure events, discount codes, pricing structures, subscriptions, miscellaneous items, ticket templates and venues (in AudienceView) Database
    3. Maintain Filemaker database with patron contact information and purchasing history
    4. Assist with email marketing using Mailchimp including monthly imports of new email subscribers
    5. Import customer information from AudienceView to Filemaker and routinely remove duplicates
    6. Assist with website updates on a daily basis and social media marketing strategy to ensure materials are accurate and free of errors
  2. Provide administrative support to the Director of Development and create efficiencies in Development activities.
    1. Maintain a working knowledge of the Director of Development’s job duties to fill in as needed.
    2. Quickly and accurately process donations.
    3. Assist with admin tasks related to special events: e.g. pre and post-concert dinners, special events in the Museum, homes, and patron tour. Assist with coordination of logistics such as signage needs and other day-of details.
    4. Assist in creating donor solicitation letters, materials, and pull lists from AudienceView
    5. Track all gifts in AudienceView, gift tracking spreadsheets and update information as needed
    6. Create and generate thank you letters for gifts
    7. Maintain donor files
    8. Edit donor listings in An die Musik magazine
  1. Support and foster Schubert Club’s collaborative business practices to ensure that all organizational activities support the Schubert Club’s mission successfully
    1. Assist with setting up concerts and events as requested and needed
    2. Assist with onsite concert and event support
    3. Assist with museum activities as needed
    4. Assist with office wide projects as needed
    5. Act as a steward and liaison with the public at Schubert Club events, to foster the positive reputation of Schubert Club

Preferred Experience

    • Previous database experience

    • Ability to work evenings and weekends

    • 2 years ticketing experience 

    • Experience selling tickets and building ticketing components in AudienceView
    • Customer service experience 

    • Proficiency with Microsoft Office products

    • Knowledge and comfort working in a Mac based environment

    • Experience using Mailchimp, WordPress and Filemaker a plus

OTHER REQUIREMENTS

  • Ability to lift and carry up to 25 pounds
  • Ability to work frequent nights and weekends
  • Reliable transportation

EDUCATION, EXPERIENCE, AND LICENSES/CERTIFICATIONS

  • B.A. or B.S. in Music, Theatre, Arts Administration, or related field
  • 2 years in ticketing position

To apply, please send cover letter, resume, and references to tessa@schubert.org no later than September 15, 2017.