What you told us in Baroque Band’s April 2012 survey

In April this year, we sent a survey titled “Tell us what you want!” to Baroque Band’s audience, supporters, participants, volunteers, and others. We want to share results and tell you how Garry and others are following up on some of your suggestions.

We were really encouraged to learn how enthusiastic and dedicated our loyal fan base is—thanks for the inspiration! We were especially gratified by the words you chose to describe Baroque Band, including fresh, intimate, energetic, engaging, sparkling, creative, passionate, exciting, inspiring, magical, flawless, splendid, big fun, lively, exhilarating, marvelous, thrilling, unique, valuable, important, superb.Baroque Band does, indeed, strive to be all these things and to bring a fresh energy and passion to playing Baroque music in intimate venues (another thing many of you value highly) throughout Chicago.

92% of you especially like hearing period instruments, and 93% of you appreciate being introduced to music you don’t know. Garry continues to keep that in mind as he works on programming. Some revelations are guaranteed in the 2012-13 season of programs inspired by classic movies.

Some of you requested specific composers including more Bach, more Italian, and more French repertoire (Lully and Charpentier were mentioned). Check out the 2012-13 composers and you’ll see that you can look forward to plenty of Bach and his associates in “The Godfather” in June 2013, and Italian composers including Corelli, Vivaldi, Locatelli, Albinoni, and Geminiani. Garry promises to keep the French connection in mind as he’s programming future seasons.

If you asked for more woodwinds, you won’t want to miss Piers Adams, virtuouso recorder player, in “Gone with the Wind” (a program of tempestuous recorder concertos) in January 2013. Baroque Band’s guest artists score high points, and world-renowned players like Piers Adams, Dame Emma Kirkby, Iestyn Davies, and Lucy Crowe, will continue to be invited whenever possible.

For those of you who asked for more vocal music, you’ll be especially pleased by the October launch of Baroque Band’s own professional vocal ensemble singing music by Purcell, Handel, and John Blow in “All the King’s Men.”

Close to 80% of you are fans of one or more of the Baroque Band musicians in particular, and some would like to know more about them. We’ll be featuring the individual musicians more on the website and in the program books, so be on the lookout for profiles and more details. And if you’re one of the people who can’t get enough of David Schrader’s playing, be sure you don’t miss “The Godfather” program in June 2013, a concert that will shine a spotlight on David as he performs. We appreciate all that David brings to the keyboard as well as to the board table—did you know he’s also a member of the Baroque Band board?

You want us to keep performing in three venues—Evanston, Hyde Park, and in downtown Chicago—and in the intimate settings you like. So long as you keep attending concerts and bringing your friends and neighbors to fill the venues, we’ll be there!

We have a whole new plan in place for sending you advance information about upcoming concerts, as well as sending links to program notes before concerts. You were very clear about wanting to know sooner and in greater detail about the music that’s coming up. We will also do our best to get you information about master classes and other events with more lead time, if musicians can confirm their participation in time. You prefer us to send emails, and want the information we send to focus on the music and the musicians.

Lots of you asked for another recording. Baroque Band is close to finishing its second CD—we just need financial support to wrap it up. Please let us know if you’re able to make a special gift to support the recording of our next CD and we’ll make sure you get a complimentary copy as soon as it is released.

In summary, the survey responses told us about some things to keep doing, some things to improve, and new things to strive for. Please let us know during the 2012-13 season that rolls out in October how you think we’re doing, and thanks again for the time you took to answer our questions. If you haven’t subscribed for the season yet, please do, and if you can help us keep doing more of what you want by supporting us with an additional donation, we thank you in advance.

(Posted by Mary Mackay, a long-time Baroque Band fan and a relatively new board member who is focusing on marketing/audience development.)

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