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Friday, October 03, 2008

There is an interesting article this morning in the Wall Street Journal about the revival of classic music:

I posted this comment to the article online:

I was Director of Marketing for the Denver Symphony when Chris Dunworth was Executive Director in the early 1980's. We had more sell outs than ever before or since.

The secret to our success was Gene Amole, a columnist at the Rocky Mountain News who had owned KVOD radio, the #1 classical station in the country, and Helen Black who had founded the orchestra. They helped us see that everyone likes Good Music, and so we reached out to the community in a number of new (to Denver) ways: rush tickets, brighter advertising, getting a second story in the paper each week before a new concert, the first ever Bronco pep rally in our concert hall, Blue Jeans concerts, etc. etc.

We found the biggest barrier to our success was that few people in Denver knew when our concerts were held or how to buy a ticket. Our advertising and publicity was designed to change this, and it did: We went from being front page bad news to front page good news.

When I left, marketing was done by a local rock and roll promoter and the Denver Symphony Orchestra eventually went into bankruptsy, arising as the Colorado Symphony Orchestra.

It breaks my heart to see all the empty seats now at nearly every concert I attend. The interesting fact is that I've never had a board member or musician or anyone else call me to inquire about our brief period of success.

John Wren Denver, Colorado

If someone from the Colorado Symphony or any other performing arts group sees this (forward this page along to anyone you know who might know a board member, staff member, musician, or actor), please join us this afternoon or any Friday afternoon at the Denver IDEA Café. I’d love to brainstorm low cost/ no cost ways to sell more tickets. More information and RSVP at

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