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We will not be assimilated...

Some days I think I must be absolutely nuts to even consider starting a new orchestra, particularly when the economy is so sickly. But, then I have a meeting like the one I just had with B from Labatt and, well, I remember all the reasons that I set out on this crazy plan to create something new and challenging in the world of the classical symphony orchestra.

We are only at the very beginning of our discussions about sponsorship of euphonia and I will have to meet with others at Labatt before any final decision is made, but if B’s enthusiasm for what I’m trying to do is anything to go by I feel optimistic about the outcome.

What impressed me the most in today’s meeting was B’s belief that Labatt must connect with people and his acknowledgement that this is increasingly harder to do in the age of the mega-international corporation. Yet, hard or not it must be a priority.

This ideology echoes what we are doing with euphonia by making direct connections between individual musicians and individual audience members. Digital technology and social media give us the tools by which the orchestra can be experienced through its musicians. The traditional orchestra sells itself not as an ensemble of talented individuals but as some sort of collective whose hive-mind is animated by the will of a music director. (That’s the end of my Borg analogy).

There is so much talent, creativity and personality within an orchestra. We will all benefit from shifting focus to the mining of this rich resource and away from our present reliance on conductors and guest soloists.

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