Measuring our Impact

by Anne Longmore, Director of Marketing

Concert insert scan

If you were at the TMC’s opening Mozart and Haydn concert, you received a bright orange card in the concert program asking you to complete an online survey about your concert experience. This survey is part of a two-year 21-choir intrinsic impact research project being conducted by Chorus America and managed by the respected arts research firm WolfBrown. The Toronto Mendelssohn Choir is the only Canadian choir participating in this North-America-wide project.

At the conclusion of this project Chorus America will publish a report based on the learning gathered from thousands of survey results collected from audiences across North America attending a variety of different types of choral concerts.  The intention is to identify which elements of a choral concert—including repertoire, educational materials, venue, and emotional engagement with the performers and the music—influence most strongly an audience’s satisfaction with the concert and their sense of the longer-term impact of the concert on their lives. This research report will help all choirs better understand what is important to choral audiences, and also help them to better articulate the benefit they provide to audiences. Through our own surveys, the TMC will be able to discover more about what our own Toronto audiences, from first-time concert-goers to loyal subscribers, look for and value in a concert experience and how we can ensure that TMC concert programs live up to our mission to inspire and move listeners.

Audiences at each of our four subscription concerts this season will be asked to complete an online survey.  Following the Mozart and Haydn concert, we were pleased that 181 patrons took the time to do this.  Responses will be kept anonymous—we at the TMC never see who said what—but will be grouped by concert and by question to provide insights into respondents’ experience of the repertoire, the educational elements, the venue, the performance, and more, including their overall emotional response to the concert.  As the season goes on, we will be able to compare responses between our four concerts, and compare our results with those from other participating choirs, including some major symphonic choirs in the U.S.

We’ve just started delving into the Mozart and Haydn concert research but wanted to share one result with you right away.  In the survey, patrons are asked: “What words best describe how the concert made you feel? Provide six words.”  Respondents do not choose from a list of words but rather record their own words that come to mind. Their answers are then compiled into a word cloud. The larger the word appears in the word cloud, the more frequently it was mentioned. We were thrilled to see that so many respondents left the Mozart and Haydn concert inspired, uplifted and moved.

Here is the word cloud.

If you attend our Festival of Carols concert on December 10th we hope you will take the time to complete the online survey after the concert.  We are interested in our audience’s response to the performance, repertoire and venue for every concert – so even if you completed a survey for the Mozart and Haydn concert, we ask you to also complete a Festival of Carols survey about your thoughts on that specific concert.

Look for more updates on this research project in upcoming issues of the Voice of Mendelssohn.

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