If you’re a regular reader, you probably know that my wife, Holly Mulcahy, is the concertmaster of the Chattanooga Symphony. Since we live in Chicago, that tends to catch people off guard.
Wait, you live in Chicago, but perform in Chattanooga…Chattanooga, Tennessee, right?
Musicians commuting long distances is nothing new but using the commute to build community around classical music is something Holly has mastered. She leverages her violin case to engage passengers and more often than not, they end up at an upcoming concert. But perhaps more importantly, they remain engaged with her whenever their paths cross from that point forward.
Over the years, she’s developed a relationship with other regulars traveling the Chicago-Chattanooga route. There are several couples that live in both cities; some have become subscribers, others are regular single ticket buyers.
Her Facebook and Twitter feeds are filled with airport encounters in both cities. One recent post demonstrates how she uses these encounters to build and strengthen bridges:
What caught my eye is a comment from Christopher Blair (the very same Mr. Blair who writes the fabulous guest author articles here from time to time about acoustics).
His observations about the difference between creating a market vs. community is an all-crucial point we could all benefit from spending more time internalizing.
Granted, it’s all too easy to get caught up in the market end of things (those pesky revenue goals and all), but taking the time to step back and realize the assets most organizations have at their fingertips in their very own artists is worth considering.
In another airport encounter, Holly crossed paths a fellow passenger who has a friend that regularly attends Chattanooga Symphony concerts. The two of them got to talking and it turns out one is used to seeing Holly on stage, the other in the concourse.
…and don’t miss the selfie #FTW: