Tag Archives: Peanut

Captive Audiences: How Many Tickets can one Singer Sell?

Peanut never lacks for an audience because he expects everyone he encounters to pay attention to him.  Perhaps we singers need to take a lesson from him and have higher expectations of our friends and family to attend our choral performances.

Choirs understand that they have great built-in audience potential living in their singers’ address books.  How many friends and close family does each choir member have?  10? 20?  Our goal is to make sure that when we perform, all of those people are IN THE AUDIENCE.

So what should we expect from our singers?   And how do we overcome resistance?  Here’s a look at some of the obstacles and solutions to this problem:

Provide Advertising Materials — This seems like a no-brainer, but most choral organizations are multi-generational; the younger members want on-line information and the older singers like a nice shiny postcard or flyer.   Don’t discount the appeal of a printed card placed a store window, and don’t be surprised if one of the sopranos invites her grandchildren using an email.

Provide Several Purchase Portals — More and more people purchase tickets to events online, but when you are dealing with family and friends, they may need a little help.  A telephone ticket hotline might just be the convenient factor that reaches your new tenor’s Grandpa.

Provide Enthusiasm — Sometimes chatter is your best advertising.  Encourage singers to talk about their upcoming concert and to be open about their love for the music.

Provide Encouragement — People love to be invited to events.  Studies show that almost half of all people who attend concerts were invited by someone else.  Don’t think of it as selling tickets, think of it as extending invitations.

Provide a Culture of Participation — Positive reinforcement is the name of the game.  We’re not talking about contests, or shaming the slackers.  Our best tactic may be to recognize and praise those who do a great job.

Provide Training — Consider investing 15 minutes per concert to simply review ticket prices, purchase options, marketing materials and even a script of talking points.

The bottom line is that singers want that big audience as much as anyone else.  They may not realize how much power they have to make that a reality!

Long Beach Camerata Singers will be performing Handel’s Messiah on November 30 and December 1, 2018.  Tickets can be purchased for $30/$45.  Click HERE to visit our website.


Baroque Trivia: Five Crazy Facts About Handel’s Messiah

IMG_2875It’s a good thing that Peanut wasn’t GF Handel’s dog — he never would have put up for being ignored during that 3-week period when the master composed Messiah!  You can see that Mr. Peanut is ready for the holidays in this photo, wearing his little hunter’s cap. The little guy is surprisingly good natured about having his photo taken! Here’s some interesting trivia about this beloved piece for your reading pleasure:

  1.  Messiah is rich with vast effects derived from simple means,  along with beautiful melodies and the insistent rhythms that are characteristic of the Baroque era, easy to love and hard to forget.
  2. The Music gains extraordinary intensity through the Baroque compositional technique of “word painting,” in which the flow of notes in the music actually seems to replicate a shape or contour that the words describe.
  3. Papa Haydn, always generously praising the merits of other composers, called Handel “der Meister von uns allen,” or  “the master of us all” at a performance of Messiah. But Beethoven, who was far more grudging with his approval, used almost the same words—“der unerreichte Meister aller Meisters,” “the unequalled master of all masters.”

  4. images-13The association between diva soprano and the soprano solo role in Messiah extends more than a century earlier, back to the legendary Jenny Lind, who barnstormed the U.S. as a Barnum-sponsored headliner in the 1840s. On one of her transatlantic crossings, the Swedish Nightingale asked the ship’s captain to wake her before dawn, without specifying a reason for her request. At the appointed hour, she stood with him at the ship’s railing as the sun rose over the waters and sang “I Know My Redeemer Liveth.”

  5.  Handel’s Messiah continues to exert a very real influence upon modern composers.  Leonard Bernstein’s Mass, composed in 1971, brings together music, dance and diverse religious and secular traditions in a way that owes much to Handel.  Andrew Lloyd Webber—like Handel, a master of theatrical craft in music—wrote a requiem mass as his only full- scale classical work. Paul McCartney, too, ventured into oratorio with his only classical work, The Liverpool Oratorio.

    This year will be the tenth annual performance of Messiah by the Long Beach Camerata Singers.  The chorus will be accompanied by Musica Angelica Baroque Orchestra
    Camerata sings Handel’s Messiah.  TICKETS NOW AVAILABLE $40.  www.LBCamerata.org or call 562-373-5654.  Sunday December 3, 4:30pm, Beverly O’Neill Theater


5 Big Reasons to Hear Camerata Perform Handel’s Messiah on Sunday!

IMG_2892Mr. Peanut is getting ready for the Holidays.  If you watched his Thanksgiving Message, you know he is expecting lots of goodies.  Today Peanut would like to recommend that you attend the upcoming performance of Handel’s Messiah by the Long Beach Camerata Singers — it’s a holiday tradition!  Here are 5 big reasons to attend this year’s show:

  1.  Bring Family and Friends Together — In a world laden with consumer goods, why not invest in an afternoon with the people who are important in your life?  Put down the cell phone, step away from the computer and, yes, visit with people — in person!  You won’t regret it.
  2. Build Traditions that Endure — It is important for both children and adults to have traditions in their lives, traditions that define the season and create memories; traditions that can be passed on to future generations.  Traditions loom large when we remember our childhoods.  If you don’t already have a holiday musical tradition, our concert is the perfect place to start.
  3. The Beauty of the MusicIMG_2303There’s a reason why this piece of music has endured for almost 300 years — it’s unbelievably beautiful!  The compelling melodies, the dramatic arias and the powerful recitatives never fail to thrill.  You will be surprised at how much of the music is familiar to you — and don’t forget the Hallelujah Chorus.  Be prepared to stand for that one!
  4. The Power of the Message — Regardless of your belief system, Messiah is filled with important reminders of our highest values.  Goodwill toward others, hope for a better life, comfort for those in distress:  these are the impulses that build our character.  It doesn’t matter if you attend church, or which denomination, if any, your subscribe to.
  5. Get a Brain Massage — Give your poor, overworked brain a rest!  images-18Allow the sounds of the chorus, soloists and orchestra to flow through you !  Close your eyes and float on the river of sound.  Your brain will be washed clean of electronic beeps, digital images and the cluttered detritus of our daily lives for this small piece of time.
This year will be the tenth annual performance of Messiah by the Long Beach Camerata Singers.  The chorus will be accompanied by Musica Angelica Baroque Orchestra.
Camerata sings Handel’s Messiah.  TICKETS NOW AVAILABLE $30/$45.  www.LBCamerata.org or call 562-373-5654.  Sunday December 3, 4:30pm Beverly O’Neill  Theater

An Anthem of Compassion: Eliza Gilkyson’s “Requiem”

Camerata’s Peace Project Concert on October 8 will be filled with fantastic repertoire.  My very favorite piece is “Requiem” by Eliza Gilkyson.  This absolutely beautiful piece of music is full of lament, and, ultimately,  hope.  It also has a very interesting history.

Gilkyson wrote “Requiem” in 2004 in response to the Asian Tsunami disaster.  In an interview with NPR, she revealed that she wanted to write a mass, and even considered using Latin text.  She researched female deities of many religious and cultural traditions, but kept coming back to Mary.  She used lower case exclusively in the text to signify the universal female comforter.

The composer recorded “Requiem” on her Paradise Lost album using  only two voices — hers and her daughter’s.  Her intent, exquisitely fulfilled, was to pair an innocent upper voice with a more world-weary lower voice.  Use this link for the NPR interview and the Gilkyson recording of the piece:  http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4847831

The story of Gilkyson’s “Requiem” doesn’t stop there.  As a matter of cosmic coincidence, both Gilkyson and  Craig Hella Johnson, Artistic Director of the professional choir Conspirare, resided in Austin, Texas, and the rest is history.  In 2006 Johnson produced a piano-and-chorus arrangement of “Requiem,” the very arrangement that Camerata will be singing on October 8.  In a blog posting by Conspirare, Johnson describes the piece as “an anthem of compassion.”  Click here for Johnson’s remarks and a Conspirare performance of the piece: https://conspirare.org/inspire/requiem/

Please join us on October 8 to hear the Gilkyson/Johnson version of “Requiem,” as well as many more wonderful choral nuggets.  To purchase tickets please visit Camerata’s website:  http://longbeachcameratasingers.org/lbcs/camerata-peace-project/


Peace Be With You: The Camerata Peace Project

When our new Artistic Director, James Bass, suggested that we perform a concert around the theme of Peace, we were intrigued.  That concept has grown into a community effort that we are calling The Camerata Peace Project, and it will take place on Sunday, October 8 2017.

This first Peace Project — the first of five annual events — will revolve around the theme of diversity and inclusion, the the importance of a sense of belonging.  The centerpiece of the concert is “We Can Mend the Sky” by contemporary composer, Jake Runestad.  Also included are “Requiem” by Eliza Gilkyson, Rachmaninoff’s “Bogoroditse Devo” and Bernstein’s “Almighty Father.”  We will explore the repertoire more fully in future posts.

Instead of a pre-concert lecture, we have arranged a community roundtable discussion.  We have invited representatives from many stakeholder groups around the area to discuss these issues, including LGBT, Developmentally Disabled, African American, Children, and more.  We will focus on how our diversity is expressed through music and how music leads to inclusion.

According to Dr. Bass, “When we come together to sing, it is almost exclusively in a peaceful manner.  There is no other place like the concert stage to cultivate human relationships:  Relationships with the past, with each other as performers and with the audience. We will ask our audience to  put the thoughts and concerns of the outside world away and join us in a musical celebration of human relationships and of peace.”

Prepare to be uplifted by this beautiful concert; prepare to be moved; prepare to think about important issues; prepare to count your blessings; prepare to appreciate the goodness that comes through human connection.

Please join us on October 8!  Here is the link for tickets:  http://longbeachcameratasingers.org/lbcs/camerata-peace-project/

Eight Surprising Reasons Why We Need Choral Music in Our Lives And Community

Many of the articles we read on the importance of choral music focus on the singer and his/her experience.  We have heard plenty about the health benefits of singing in a choir, and how people build friendships.

But what about our audience?  Why should they bother to attend our concerts?  How does choral music impact our community as a whole and our patrons as individuals?  Peanut has a few thoughts on this important topic that he would like to share with you:

  • Classical music repertoire is full of important choral/orchestral masterworks that the community wants to hear.  The Long Beach Camerata Singers is dedicated to singing at the artistic level necessary to partner with the Long Beach Symphony to perform these works. Your financial support and your attendance at our concerts allows us to continue this important mission.
  • The presence of a strong and accomplished chorus in the City of Long Beach is a matter of civic pride.  We are the second largest city in Southern California and the quality of our arts organizations is a reflection of our commitment to our community.
  • Choral singing is a communal activity and is especially important today when we increasingly rely on Internet-based communications, rather than face-to-face interaction.  We bring people together for a moment in time when they can shed their differences and focus their attention on the music.
  • Choral groups and choral singers are diverse.  The criteria for admission to a group like Long Beach Camerata Singers is based solely on ability and is blind to age, ethnicity or income.
  • Choral singing provides “social capital” to animate and address issues of justice, social awareness, health and wellness.  A chorus is more than the sum of the parts.  We promote cultural excellence and community pride.
  • Choral music is important in building connections in community. A choir of human voices singing in harmony is a compelling metaphor  for a community that works.  Every member contributes something unique—a high voice, a low voice, a voice somewhere in the middle.  The choir is a wonderful example of teamwork and a great example to community members of how people can work together
  • Choral music moves people’s minds, spirits and emotions.  The combination of voice, harmony, and text affects  audiences are deeply.
  • Choral music is one art form that people can directly participate in throughout their lives; going to concerts opens up that possibility and inspires people to express themselves through music.

For more information about the Long Beach Camerata Singers, please visit our Website.

Breakfast at Downton Abbey, Part I

There have been many scenes at the breakfast table in Downton Abbey.  lord-robert-reading-letterIn fact, the show kicks off in that very place, when Lord Grantham receives the letter informing him of the sinking of the Titanic. You will  recall that this is the event that the family’s fortunes turned on, setting the stage for Mary and Matthew’s romance.  Like most aspects of the life of an English gentleman and his family, the mores of the petit dejuner were carefully scripted and rigorously followed.

Breakfast was not consumed immediately upon rising by the upper classes.  Adapting a custom from agrarian communities, most people took tea and then fasted for the next two or three hours.   We know that the Duke of Wellington, for most of his life, rose at approximately 7:00am and spent at least three hours working on his correspondence and military dispatches before he sat down to breakfast.  In a letter to her sister, a639833d-4499-43cb-8566-07fd24a7514a_dCassandra, Jane Austen, while visiting London, wrote of rising near 8:00am, dressing and going out to the draper’s to do some shopping, before returning home at about 9:30am to have breakfast with her brother.  Hence the saying,

“Rise at five, dine at nine, Sup at five, to bed at nine, Makes man live ten times nine.”

Also, breakfast was the only meal that was self service.  char_lg_edithThe food — often an enormous array — was laid out on the sideboard.  It was customary for the diners — primarily gentlemen — to help themselves.  Married ladies would take their meal in bed perhaps due to the fashions and hair styles that required lengthy preparation, including assistance from their lady’s maid.   Edith in Downton Abbey caused some consternation by joining the men at Breakfast.  Her father asks,  “Why don’t you have breakfast in bed?” “Because I’m not married,” she answers.

Tomorrow we will examine the breakfast menu.

Please join the Long Beach Camerata Singers for our upcoming concert, “The Music of Downton Abbey,” on October 2 at 4:30pm.  Performed at the Beverly O’Neill Theater in Long Beach, California, your ticket price includes “Cream Tea” at Elise’s Tea Room in Bixby Knolls to enhance your concert experience!  Click Here to purchase tickets.DA Card

If you purchase a season subscription (3 concerts or more) you will be treated to the “Lady Violet Tea” at Elise’s Tea Room.  Click Here to purchase subscriptions.

Take a cooking class and learn how to make your own Afternoon Tea with ChefTech Cooking School!  Click Here for more information and to register for the class on Saturday, October 1.

For more information about “The Music of Downton Abbey” please visit our Website.