Monday, October 2, 2017

Every Little Bit Counts

I was three hours from home and I had just finished playing Adrian Mann's Canzone Vecchione, a totally charming little duo for oboe and double bass.  Phillip Serna, my collaborator, is a terrific colleague, and his enthusiasm for performing and rehearsing and improving and working rivals even my own.  Although this was an unpaid performance for about 17 people, on a Double Bass Day recital, the performance was a great pleasure. 


I did not, however, have any great expectations about audience building, or career advancement, or anything big-picture coming out of this event.  A few bassists and their parents would hear me, I figured, and that would be the end of it. 

Excitingly, though, as I passed through the lobby on my way back to my car, I bumped into a former student. I had known, but forgotten, that he was studying at this university. He had been on my website and noticed this performance at his college, and decided to attend. He had brought his roommate, a music student at the school.  They had both enjoyed the event.  We chatted for a few minutes and I was so happy to have seen him. 

I took some reminders from this encounter.

Number One:  Always assume that there are people in the audience who care about the oboe, who know me, who have an interest and are following along and ready to be engaged.  The world is not made up of strangers and you never know who is out there.

Number Two:  Always keep your website updated. I’m pretty good about it, generally. But I tend to assume that my relatively static homepage is not visited much.  People come and buy reeds and leave again.  The performances I'm excited about I promote actively, but I can be lazy about the little event listing section.  (BTW: you can see that little event listing section on my website, or view the link from the top of my blog page.  I'm that well organized, at least.)

This small performance was a thing I could easily have left off.  Again, three hours from my home, six minutes of music, on a double bass recital. I had no reason to think that anyone would follow me there, or be remotely interested in my presence. I was doing this as a favor to Phillip, and because he’s going to come up and play it with me next week at Ravinia.

But no, in fact – someone visited my site. Someone was local and chose to come out. Someone enjoyed my performance, and told me so. You never know who you’re going to reach, or who you're going to touch. Every little bit of effort counts and makes a difference.

Thank you, Braydon, for the reminder!

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