Unlike previous incarnations of Take A Friend To Orchestra (TAFTO) month here at Adaptistration, the 2009 contributor list is being finalized much earlier. The primary reason is that for the past few years, orchestras that have been interested in putting together a TAFTO oriented event in the spring have requested that information be made available earlier in the season so they can have more time to plan. As such, here’s what’s happening so far, including the list of confirmed contributors…
Although there are a few more names to add to the list, here are the confirmed TAFTO 2009 contributors:
- Sir Andrew Davis; Music Director & Principal Conductor, Lyric Opera of Chicago
- Giancarlo Guerrero; Music Director, Nashville Symphony Orchestra
- Alan Valentine; Chief Executive Officer, Nashville Symphony Orchestra
- Matthew Guerrieri; Boston based composer, pianist, and conductor and author of Soho The Dog
- Janelle Gelfand; Music critic, Cincinnati Inquirer
- Brian Bell; WGBH live concert producer
I do hope this is enough to help some groups get started in putting together a TAFTO event for this spring. If you’re looking for ideas, the Grant Park Music Festival designed and implemented a spectacular program based entirely on TAFTO for their 2008 season. You can read details about the event here and here.
The Chicago Sun-Times published a wonderful article about the event written by Bryant Manning and although the article has since moved to archive purgatory, I’m trying to secure some usage rights so you can see exactly the sort of media impact a focused TAFTO concert event can have outside of new media sources.
In the meantime, here’s what Grant Park Music Festival General Director had to say about the concert events:
“The Grant Park Music Festival Take a Friend to the Orchestra concerts were among the most popular of our 2008 season. People took us seriously and brought friends, coworkers and those who had never been to a classical music concert. Our audiences loved the concert selections and we plan to program events of a similar nature in the future.”
Having experienced the concert events first hand I can readily admit that I was genuinely surprised at the number of hands that went up when Jim asked the crowd how many people were there due to the TAFTO ideals. It was an impressive sight.
Like last year, there will be a variety of free promotional banners, buttons, etc. that groups can use to help promote a TAFTO event. If there’s anything in particular you think would be helpful, send along a message and I’ll see what can be done to make it happen.
If you aren’t already familiar with TAFTO, it is an opportunity for the people who care the most about classical music to participate in a proactive way. You can read more along with the dozens of fantastic contributions over the years at the TAFTO main page.