Dec 10, 2019
In re-reading Thanksgiving blog posts from the past I sometimes think: “Mm, this would be good to repeat.” The one I wrote in 2014 struck me, and so I offer it again…with some modifications.
In the past I’ve written about the many things for which to be musically thankful: the vast library of downloadable music of every type known to human beings – available all at the touch of a button; live performances by great musical artists; and most of all, for the creators of music – the composers themselves.
But this Thanksgiving, I’d like to encourage you to thank some of the people who are unseen, but without whom many of the things we enjoy and love in life would not be possible.
When it comes to classical music, the first group that comes to mind is the philanthropic community. These individuals regularly donate to arts organizations. Think for a moment about your local symphony orchestra. Tickets to concerts are priced so that people with modest incomes may attend. Yet we know that tickets cover only about one-third of the cost of a concert. The remainder must be contributed.
And think about this. Patrons who contribute to their local symphony orchestra or ballet company also purchase ticketsto the performances. And,if those performances are presented in a venue such as the New Jersey Performing Arts Center – also a not-for-profit – those patrons are likely to be asked to make additional financial gifts to the art center itself. The concerts we attend have therefore been subsidized by individuals who have paid for that performance…three times over! So consider writing a note or email of thanks to one of the major benefactors of the arts in your community. You can find their names in the program under ‘Contributors!’
Other unseen people are the staffs of non-profits. Staff members of a symphony orchestra, dance company or art museum are often not among the highest paid employees on the planet. But they make everything happen, seamlessly. Performances, like icebergs, have the lion’s share of their mass hidden beneath the surface. Those who open the mail, process ticket orders, prepare payrolls, raise contributed income, fill out mountains of forms for grant applications, make patrons who call the office feel ‘warm and fuzzy,’ along with the small army of volunteers who work for non-profits at no financial compensation whatsoever…are never seenas the orchestra plays on stage! Nor have we considered the trustees who serve on non-profit boards. Individuals who give of their time, wisdom and treasure to the arts organizations they oversee and guide. If you attend a concert, you will find their names listed in the program as well.
So this Thanksgiving, consider giving a shout out to one of the staff members, trustees or volunteers at your favorite arts group, in addition to thanking a donor! I’ll start you off in the right direction by saying a huge “Thank you!” to the wonderful donors, staff, board and volunteers of The Discovery Orchestra. “Happy Thanksgiving, indeed!”