By Samantha McCarthy
Knoch High School
The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra puts on a Disney-themed concert as a way to attract a larger audience.
“What our team really focuses on is trying to find the thing that is the most relatable to an audience,” said PSO Communications Manager Andy Coleman. “Later we will be hearing one of the world’s greatest orchestra is performing ‘Let It Go’.”
A Pops concert repertoire consists of popular music that the general public should know.
The reason these types of concerts are so popular to the public is because the symphony plays non-classical types of music.
“The classical audience is our bread and butter,” said Coleman “We do 20 concerts a year on the classical season. We do 7 for Pops and we have a variety of specials.”
The concert may not even be just an orchestra playing; it could include singers, jazz instruments, or even clips from movies or cartoons.
“Our classical audience is a mix of the typical old blue hairs and families,” said Artistic Planning & Audience Engagement Manager Jesse Montgomery. “I actually expect to see a lot more older people then I actually do.”
An upcoming Pops concert, “Tale as old as Time” (June 19-June 21) is a mixture of music and movie clips from Disney films such as “Frozen,” “The Lion King,” “Tangled” and more.
Another way the PSO is trying to get new viewers is bringing in local high school students for a program called “Audience of the Future.”
The students produce an entire concert from the lighting details and repertoire to advertising ticket sales on the Internet and in their own high schools.
“Each year its a little different because we have different student groups participating,” said Director of Education Programs Thomas Walters. “They have different ways to reach out to groups in their communities.”
Getting the young people involved with such a classic form of entertainment proves that the symphony is not dying.
During the symphony’s season the musicians have many different concerts to practice for and sometimes that may mean playing completely different styles in the same weekend.
“The patrons can appreciate that these folks (PSO musicians) not only are so good they can play Beethoven’s Symphony No. 09,” said Coleman. “And then play with some of the area’s greatest jazz musicians the next night without missing a beat.”