For this project’s Outduction we have recruited a focus group of 11 Young Ambassadors from across all of the participating Pods. The group meets regularly to offer feedback on our work to date and advice on how to present further concert opportunities so as to appeal to their peers. The focus group also play an ambassadorial role in their schools and universities by encouraging their friends to attend this further series of free concerts.
One innovation for this project was the introduction of text messaging news about forthcoming concerts, and allowing YAs to sign up for tickets by replying to the text message. This has seen an increase in the number of those signing up for free tickets compared to the previous projects which relied solely on email newsletter.
The first concert of the 2016 Outduction took place in the Royal Festival Hall and featured the Aurora Orchestra, directed by Nicholas Collon, in conjunction with Ed Cooke, Grand Memory Master. The concert invited the audience, under Cooke’s guidance, to apply ‘memory palace’ techniques to Mozart’s 40th symphony, illuminating the genius and drama of Mozart’s writing and allowing the audience to experience the music in a novel way. The event culminated in a memorised performance of the complete symphony given by the Aurora Orchestra. This exciting and unusual concert opportunity certainly captured the imagination of our Young Ambassadors, and we were pleased to see an unprecedented number of YAs sign up for and attend this concert.
Ryan, one of ourYoung Ambassadors who attended this first Outduction concert, reports back:
“I enjoyed the whole event, the music was familiar and overall we felt the experience was a fresh, happy and ambitious. I enjoyed the actual performance because it was so fascinating to see the amount of skill they had playing a symphony off by heart. If another concert like this was available I would definitely go and invite my friends because it shows how interesting music can be and that classical music can be exciting at times.”
Our next free concert is given by City of London Sinfonia as part of their ‘CLoSer’ series. The programme features Mahler’s great symphony of song, Das Lied von der Erde, and waltzes by Johann Strauss. The concert will take place in the exciting venue of Village Underground in Shoreditch, which is used for many different genres of music. We hope that the more relaxed surroundings (where audience members sit right up close to the musicians on cushions on the floor) and story-telling introduction to the music (with excerpts from letters between Mahler and his wife) will encourage Young Ambassadors who are perhaps put off by the traditional concert hall setting to attend.