Orchestra Attendance - Hitting a Sour Note (2/24/09)
Friday's Louisville Orchestra concert - titled "Violins and Voodoo" - offered one of the most entertaining nights out I've enjoyed in a long time. And my fellow audience members apparently agreed. I've rarely seen as many smiling faces as I did that night when the lights came up in Whitney Hall. And it wasn't just the audience. The musicians were grinning too.
The only problem is - Whitney Hall was barely half-full.
Now, I know there were other things going on in town that evening, but I couldn't help thinking there's something wrong with this picture.
Before coming to Louisville, I spent several years in Peoria, Illinois. It's a nice town - with its own orchestra and a performance hall that's virtually a twin of the Whitney - but with only about one-fifth the population and nowhere near this city's level of sophistication. Still, almost every orchestra concert there sells out.
Louisville has a reputation as a city that embraces the arts. But half-empty concert halls for high-quality offerings don't exactly support that reputation.
Friday night's concert was standout entertainment and most of you missed it. So I have to ask: What could the Orchestra do differently to get you to buy tickets?
Please call and let us know. As an Orchestra Board member, I'm curious.
I'm Bill Lamb, and that's my...Point of View.