Tell Us Your Ideas for Developing a 21st Century Schubert Club

By Barry Kempton

Did you know The Schubert Club has a Digital Technology Committee?

Yes, though our name harkens back to the 19th century and though we will always be a musical organization steeped in history, we formed this committee last year to develop some clarity around how we utilize technology now, where we’re currently missing out and, perhaps most importantly, where we should be focusing our resources (limited of course) as we plan for the future. 

In the past six months, we have received an excellent digital technology audit of current practice (thanks to excellent work by Aaron Wulff) and brainstormed a variety of directions in which technology could take us.  Imagine for instance a Google street view tour of our Museum. 

After several broad discussions, we have narrowed our attention to exploring how technology can enhance music events.  Our main “laboratory” will be Schubert Club Mix (since this is intentionally a concert series with less formality).  We will be developing ideas for at least one of the four programs next season.  I can’t reveal how the experience will be different, as the plan is not complete yet.  I do know however, that we intend to interact with our audience in the days preceding the concert and that the first part of the concert experience in the venue is likely to engage the audience in “doing stuff” upon arrival – before even the musical performance begins.   Our intent is for it to be fun and informative.

Whatever we do, it will not detract from the performance itself and will be respectful to the performers.

We are interested to know about experiences you have had which have enhanced a concert you’ve attended – especially those using technology.  Please do let us know in the comments below. The development of this program will be happening over the coming 2-3 months.

On a separate note, I was saddened today to learn of Sir Peter Maxwell Davies’ death.  I had the privilege of working with Max early in my career at the Scottish Chamber Orchestra – both in programming and for several years coordinating the composer institute he led on the Island of Hoy.   He was a great man, a very special musician and someone who commanded total respect without ever demanding it.  But most of all, I will remember him as a passionate advocate for music education, able to speak more articulately than anyone I know (always without notes) on the importance of music in the lives of young people.  Thank you Max for the difference you made in so many lives.