Canadian arts consultant Elaine Calder, hired by the Oregon Symphony to evaluate its weaknesses, has suggested that one problem is that the orchestra plays too much classical music, reports the Portland newspaper The Oregonian.

This is from a Playbill article. You can read the entire thing here.

The Oregonian newspaper article can be read beginning here. And according to the writer of the article, “Calder’s candor is refreshing.” Hmmm. Not to me.

Her candor is annoying. Her candor is wrong. But I do not find it refreshing.

So from what I’ve read so far, we should probably be doing “Christian soft-rock”. OH PLEASE SPARE ME! That music … I’ve heard a lot of it, trust me … is frequently low quality, wanna-be-pop-but-not-quite, lame stuff. (I’m a Christian, so please understand I’m not mocking the faith. Only the music.) And some is even right up there with the pop stuff. But since when does a symphony orhcestra want to play pop music? AND, when we actually do play that music, we get mocked and laughed at. And we are embarrassed. To be quite frank, when we play that sort of stuff I feel like we’ve turned the symphony hall into an extremely large elevator. Or dentist office. Muzak? Yep.

I do not want to go there, and I’d prefer to quit rather than suffer through that sort of thing.

Now of course one a year I can deal with; it might get a few new faces in the hall and they might even return for a real concert. You never know. And I don’t mind those video game shows we’ve done. It’s kind of fun to see those video folks dressed up as characters going absolutely crazy over a tune they recognize from one of their games. But what we do is play symphonic music. We are a symphony orchestra. You know?

And perhaps we should play in churches, as the article suggests. But you know what? I really dislike playing with my colleagues who don’t care for the Christian faith in a Christian setting. They don’t like doing it. Some will mock everything that is being done. (Believe me, I’ve seen that quite a lot.) And it just makes me sad.

I guess I’m for the separation of church and symphony.

James Reel shares his mild mannered thoughts as well. I like what he writes. 🙂

A. C. Douglas suggests that Mr. Reel was merely being satirical. Or maybe Mr. Douglas was being satirical by suggesting that Mr. Reel was being satirical. Or something.

So tell me … if you go to a rock concert do you expect to hear rock music, or symphony music? If you go to a Willie Nelson concert do you think you’ll hear Willie or Beethoven? And when you go to a symphony concert do you think you’ll be hearing Paul McCartney?

Heh. Oh. Wait. I guess he’s tried to break in to that realm.


Reed Update
I managed to get an oboe reed that I think is going to be happy. Only time will tell. A new English horn reed hasn’t been born. Yet.

1 Comment

  1. I’m reposting this on my blog. Unbelievable. Do you know how liberal Oregon is? (Don’t you remember, I’m from Eugene?) I can’t imagine how this MBA grad would overlook the demographics and fail to notice the ratio of Evangelical Christians (or lack there of) in the state of Oregon.