The 07/20/06 edition of the Tucson Weekly published an article by James Reel that examines the current state of the Tucson Symphony Orchestra…
I think it’s important to point out examples of really good cultural journalism and this article fits the bill. Usually, these articles appear in papers that service larger size communities but I’m especially pleased to see an article of this quality appearing in the Tucson press.
James’ article does a good job of examining some American Symphony Orchestra League statistics and comparing those to the situation in Tucson. In particular, I think this article is well written because it doesn’t accept those statistics at face value and it asks some relevant questions which offers readers that may be unfamiliar with the recent history of American orchestras some necessary perspective.
It also does an excellent job at examining current programming that is a result of the orchestra’s fiscal situation. At the same time, the article points out what it believes are some of the creative ways the music director was able to work something other than orchestral schlock into next year’s repertoire.
Finally, the author does what I think needs to happen more in cultural articles, it strips away the jargon that is so popular in this business. James calls it “admin-speak” in the article.
Does your local newspaper feature cultural writing on this level? If so, make sure you contact the paper’s editors to let them know you appreciate it and if not, write the editors and let them know you want it.
Postscript: In the article, there’s one quote from the TSO’s executive director which really caught my attention. It has to do with a statistic she is apparently proud of but based on a recent study of the business, I find myself wondering why. Which quote and which study do you think I’m referring to?