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!