If recording sales tell us anything, they would seem to say that the consumer demand for classical music has held its own over the past 10 years. CD sales, however, may not in themselves be much of a gauge of the public's appetite for live performance.
That's why making the concert experience as rich, meaningful and inviting as possible has encouraged the Youngstown Symphony Society to reach more people through the Internet. The society is joining the 600 orchestras in the country that have begun using this technology since 1995.
Features: The full Web site will debut in September. Information about concerts, guest artists and orchestra members will be just a click away. Featured on the site, www.youngstownsymphony.com, will be program notes by orchestra annotator Cary Yelin. Internet users will be able to link to Music Director Isaiah Jackson's personal Web page. Information about Concert Conversations and the Orchestra's history will be available. The site also will provide audition information and the Orchestra's repertoire and rehearsal schedule to musicians.
Broadway Series productions, society-sponsored special events and upcoming performances at the Symphony Center will be listed on the calendar page. Seating charts, directions to the theater and nearby parking sites will be outlined.
The Web site's music appreciation page will inform patrons about community education programs as well as performance opportunities for all ages. The site also will include the latest happenings of the Women's Committee for Children's Concerts, Youngstown Symphony Chorus, Youngstown Symphony Guild and Youngstown Symphony Youth Orchestra. Users also can learn about the society board of directors and Symphony Center ushers.
Goal: By having information about services and events on the Internet, the society can give patrons access to information regardless of time or geographical location. The Society's Web site will be open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every day of the year.
When new performances are added to the schedule, patrons can receive information about the show and ticket prices quickly with electronic advertising. The society also hopes to reach new markets through its Web site.
From orchestra concerts to program advertising to the latest news about Symphony Center renovations and ways to become involved, you'll soon be able to find all the facts at www.youngstownsymphony.com.
XPatricia C. Syak is executive director of the Youngstown Symphony Society.