When Jeans and a T-Shirt to the Symphony Is Good

When audiences clap at inappropriate times or wear jeans and a T-shirt to E.J. Thomas Performing Arts Hall, the folks with Akron Symphony Orchestra are happy: “They got someone who has never experienced classical music … and they’ve enticed another person away from his or her smartphone, laptop, iPad or other device for live music,” reports Crain’s Cleveland Business.

“Clap at the wrong time — that’s awesome!” Paul Jarrett, executive director of the ASO since 2012, told Crain’s. “We know that someone there is new. We still have work to do as an industry to bring people to hear the music.”

According to the article, Akron is on the cusp of a renaissance, attracting millennials, young professionals and even baby boomers as residents, and Akron Symphony Orchestra wants to capitalize on the new energy while keeping its longtime fans.

“Here are just a few things ASO is doing to keep its longtime music fans and attract new ones:

  • Browns ticket swaps. To make fans of the hapless Cleveland Browns a little happier, the ASO offered a deal in which anyone could bring a 2015 Browns ticket stub to E.J. Thomas Hall, and the staff handed off one seat to the Dec. 11 holiday pops show, conducted by music director Christopher Wilkins.
  • Crowdsourced creativity. The ASO helped to create a sonic phenomenon with composer Clint Needham for Sounds of Akron, a symphony using sound submissions from the public. It premieres April 16 at E.J. Thomas Hall.
  • Youth outreach. The ASO’s Youth Orchestra is among the longest-running in the nation, and the ASO musicians go into classrooms and many other venues where they will reach people who may not ever have been exposed to their music.”

Read more here about Akron Symphony Orchestra’s plans to expand the reach of the orchestra.

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