Letter to the Editor

Dear Editor,

After reading “Empty Seats Open Experience” in the Oct. 13 edition of The Rambler, I was struck by the simplicity of the problem, which was being presented as a complex problem with no foreseeable solution.

I think it’s very simple to explain the poor attendance at Transylvania’s many concert options: No one knows about them. Sure, you post them on Inside Transy, but how many people actually consistently read this? I’d venture to say fewer than you think.

Even the so-called “big concerts” aren’t really well known. I, for one, did not even hear about Canadian Brass coming to Transy until the day they were supposed to be here, at which point I had already made plans. Also, how does Canadian Brass qualify as a “big concert”? I’ve never heard of this group before in my life.

Everyone quoted in the article is a part of the music program in some way or another. This is another problem: Everyone within the music department knows about the concerts coming up, but no one outside of the department does.

I don’t feel the problem is apathy; all of my friends and I regularly attend shows, plays, poetry readings, talks, seminars, etc. all the time. I feel the problem is advertising. Whatever sort of advertising is occurring for the music program’s concerts, I don’t know what it is, because I have never seen it.

Finally, the best piece of advertising you have is word of mouth. I’m going to listen to my friend tell me to go to a concert a lot sooner than I’m going to listen to a poster tell me to go to a concert.

-Joshua Berry ’13

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One Response to Letter to the Editor

  1. Laura Campbell says:

    Just because you haven’t heard of Canadian Brass- one of the preeminent brass ensembles in the WORLD, on a fame level with YoYo Ma (have you heard of him? Itzhak Perlman? Ringing any bells?) doesn’t mean that these concerts are not “big”, or not well planned or well publicized. I for one would rather listen to the Canadian Brass than someone like Nickelback- a recognised “big name”.
    Of course everyone quoted was part of the music program. That’s good journalism- talking to informed people about a subject with which they are familiar, in order to inform others.
    People outside the department do know what’s going on- it’s called “paying attention”. Just because you’ve “never seen” “whatever sort of advertising is occurring for the music program’s concerts” doesn’t mean the advertising is bad- it could mean that you don’t pay attention! Posters go up all over campus, and in this day and age, ignoring Internet resources such as Columns is like insisting on continuing to use an oil lamp, instead of the shiny electric lights in the next room.
    You then goes on to say that you really only listens to your friends’ recommendations. So why bother talking about the need to improve our publicity, if you’re going to ignore it anyway?

    If what you’re looking for in our music department is the familiar, the comfortable, the hear-it-on-the-radio-every-day-for-the-past-three-weeks kind of nonsense that is so “big” in this world, then you are in the wrong place. Expand your horizons. That’s what college is about.

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