It’s hard to believe it was more than a month ago that we completed Classical Up Close 2017. Our annual potluck gathering of all the performers and volunteers and the committee’s wrap-up meeting have taken place and we’re already talking about next year.
We didn’t blog during the festival because we were seeing you in person at the events. Plus, we didn’t really have time! You can imagine how busy we keep, producing and performing in all those Blitzes, Kids’ Concerts and full-length evening concerts — on top of our Oregon Symphony schedule! We’ve all caught our breath now, and it’s a pleasure to look back at Classical Up Close 2017.
Here are some numbers:
Six evening concerts, seven Blitzes, four Kids’ Concerts. 32 pieces of great classical music at the evening concerts alone! 49 Oregon Symphony musicians, six guest artists, many helpful volunteers and the support of individuals and foundations who contributed so that we can continue to offer these performances absolutely for FREE.
We want to thank everyone who filled out the questionnaires, either on paper or online. Not only does it help us fulfill the requirements of some granting organizations, it gives us valuable feedback — and sometimes we get the kind of positive feedback that makes us feel really good! Here are some of the comments you shared with us:
“I’ve always loved classical music, but everything comes more alive and seems more immediate in this sort of venue. It’s marvelous to able to watch the musicians playing their instruments only feet from my eyes and ears. Thank you so much for doing these concerts! They make me feel incredibly lucky to be living in Portland.”
“I enjoyed the variety of the music prepared for tonight and the obvious enjoyment of the musicians in playing.”
“I think these events are fantastic. I’ve studied music for a long time and I love that these events bring people out into their neighborhoods and teach them that classical music doesn’t have to be stuffy — it’s lovely.”
“As a beginner to classical I find this very educational and easy to participate.”
These comments, among many others, confirm that our hard work is well worth it. Our series is doing just what we hoped it would do: share our love of music in a fresh way, get to know you, give you a chance to get to know us and see behind the curtain a bit, and invite new music lovers into the community of classical music aficionados.
We were aware that there were quite a few new and adventurous pieces on this year’s programs. These were all things the musicians wanted to present, and we were pleased to see from the comments that many of you were happy to hear new sounds and go on an adventure with us. You told us that our passion and joy in music-making was clearly evident, and no doubt that plays a part in “selling” the more unusual pieces to fans of the traditional repertoire.
“It is such an insight into what people play when THEY have a choice. Very personalized.”
“Wonderful program! Love hearing stuff new to me. Classical Up Close is one of the best features of Portland.”
Another thing we gained from the surveys was a snapshot of how you found our concerts. All Classical Portland was an invaluable resource for spreading the word — no surprise there! — and word of mouth was a major contributor, so we want to urge you to help spread the word next season. As you know, this is a great way to introduce a friend to classical music.
We want to keep in touch with all of you, so be sure to visit our Facebook page. We’ll be posting vacation photos from the musicians this summer. We know some of you are curious about what we do in the off-season! We’ve already started planning for next year, so stay tuned!
Up Close and