This year's festival was thrilling for all of us who played, organized and volunteered. 47 Oregon Symphony musicians participated and 9 special friends joined us, along with behind the scenes help from 10 volunteers. Attendance was fantastic, with many of the venues being filled to capacity. There were approximately 1300 in attendance at the concerts and about 460 at the Blitzes. As in the past, we had a cadre of repeat audience members who followed us around the metro area with smiles on their faces. Our mission to thank the loyal supporters of the Oregon Symphony certainly was met, and our other dearly held goal to make new friends had some delightful successes. One young woman told us after a Blitz that she used to think the Symphony was something "fancy people" did, but now she realizes that" it's people sharing something they're excited about." So true!
One thing we particularly loved this year was how readily audience members took us up on our offer to sit on stage. At Maranatha, a young boy sitting on stage was clearly paying close attention and asked the bassoonists about how they used their air to make the sound. Others told us that they love the opportunity to see us as individuals in such close proximity, in contrast to their relatively distant seats in the Schnitz. (We're glad they took advantage of the opportunity. It's part of why we're doing this!) The questions continued to be really fun, spanning a wide range from quirky requests to a wish to know the basics all the way to some detailed queries that revealed deep knowledge on the part of the questioner.
If you came to a concert and didn't have a chance to fill out the questionnaire on the back of the program, we would be grateful of you took the time to do it here! We are looking forward to reading all the surveys and learning more about our audience and hearing what worked and what we can do better next time.
Here is a sample of the fun we had in pictures. For more, check out our Facebook page!