The New Ears Project
The TMC values all the feedback it receives from audience members, be they seasoned critics like John Terauds or the anonymous participants in our Intrinsic Impact survey. Feedback from critics can be especially valuable—if sometimes challenging to read—because critics approach our music from a position of expertise, with a wealth of other performances with which to compare ours.
The critics who review our concerts and audience members who take the time to tell us how they liked us are often “classical music people”: experienced aficionados of Classical music, who know what to expect from a concert. We love these people, and cherish them, and we feel that we have a pretty good idea of how to make concerts an enjoyable experience for them. Attracting new audience members presents a challenge for any classical music ensemble, but especially for an ensemble whose performances typically run only one evening.
With fewer and fewer reviewers covering an ever greater number of performances for Toronto publications, and with the growth of online reviews, a conversation has begun on Facebook and blogs, among patrons, musicians, reviewers and arts workers. Who is listening to our music? Whose reviews should we heed? Who should review music? What can we learn from reviewers who are not steeped in the concert-hall tradition?
To learn how “new ears” experience the TMC’s concerts, we are embarking The New Ears Review Project. At each TMC concert, a brand new audience member will review the concert and tell us about their experience. Whatever that reviewer has to say, good, bad, or in-between, we will publish in the Reviews section of TMChoir.org and in the Voice of Mendelssohn. We’ll post it on our social media (Facebook and Twitter). And we’ll learn what we can from those brave souls who take the plunge not only into exposing themselves to music they don’t normally listen to, but also into responding to it, in writing.
We’re excited to present our first New Ears reviewer, Toronto writer and hip-hop artist Noah Goodbaum.