For their capstone project, my first-year seminar class at DePauw this semester was given the task to conceive, plan, organize, publicize, and present a performance that would:
- include some classical music, but not be necessarily limited to it
- attract non-music students who would not otherwise voluntarily attend a performance of classical music
- hold the concert in the last week of class as a study break
- hold it in the ballroom of the Student Union building, near the food court, so as to capitalize on walk-by traffic
- include free food as a draw (see, they know what will attract a college-age audience)
- not use the word "classical" anywhere in the title or publicity (a result of getting focus group feedback from other students)
- have a mix of audience-participation drum circle, classical music, and pop music
- use really eye-catching posters, which they designed themselves and had professionally printed
- use Facebook to invite friends and friends of friends
- do heavy word-of-mouth publicity and invitation
The event was Tuesday night, and a grand success. The classical pieces were as warmly cheered as the pop pieces. The audience was huge--beyond their expectations--with the majority non-music majors. And the class members told me today that they were delighted that none of them recognized a majority of the audience--so it wasn't just their own friends and classmates who came.
Everything went off without a hitch. Response from students, faculty, and administration has been enthusiastic.
I'll write more soon, and post some video.