Musings from the Artistic Director

Mozart á la Czerny retrospective

Our Mozart á la Czerny concerts were a huge artistic success. The choir and pianists rose to the occasion at all three concerts, in very different acoustics (the big surprise being Holy Cross Lutheran, where the drier acoustic turned out to be a significant eye-opener! Or ear-opener!). In fact, I’d say that, musically speaking, it was one of the most perfectly rendered, yet also passionate, concerts I’ve ever conducted. It helps, obviously, that 11 of the 12 singers had sung the Mozart Requiem numerous times in the past, so that they came to the first rehearsal with the piece practically memorized; but even beyond that, the 15 of us (12 singers, 2 pianists and me) felt like we were thinking with one brain. A most fulfilling sensation, resulting in music of the absolute highest caliber.

Some other positives: We were The Denver Post art critic Ray Rinaldi’s “Best Bet” for the weekend, resulting doubtless in tens of thousands of eyes seeing our picture and concert description in Friday’s newspaper; and we tried a new Facebook advertising strategy. An amazing 13,600 “views” of our Facebook ad occurred, not counting people who are already Facebook friends of SMCC; this generated 185 “click-throughs” to our website (a huge number, relatively), and a few sales.  But these few were people who had never heard of us before. And 182 other people now have us on their radar and may respond to future promotions. Publicity is sometimes an additive function that bears fruit down the road if not today.

The downsides – we ended up 30 tickets under our sales goals (370 sold for the weekend, with a goal of 400 – partly because one of our concerts was directly up against a Denver Broncos game… grrr). Scheduling so as to avoid conflicts is nigh until impossible given the number of offerings of all kinds in the city! We dispersed about 80 comps (meaning a total attendance of 450) – many of these going to ArtReach, a Denver program connecting disadvantaged seniors to art and culture; and each performer got two comps for spouse/family/friends.

BUT, we had a generous anonymous donor who sponsored the concerts for $1500, meaning, in the end, the concert turned a profit. Unfortunately a very rare thing in the arts world!  We usually only manage that at our Christmas concerts.

And now the Czerny 4-hand piano arrangement of the Mozart Requiem is no longer a stranger to Denver (if I can put it in that odd way), and the regional premiere of this work, which generated many wonderful reactions from audience members, is now a feather in SMCC’s collective cap.  I shall not forget this concert for a very, very long time.

On to Christmas in Bavaria! Some ticket selections for one performance have already sold out so you should consider purchasing yours today! Look for “Buy Tickets” in the menu above.