Greater Westfield Chamber of Commerce

Springfield Symphony Launches Real-time Concert Notes; Tech-based Education Initiative Makes Classical Music More Accessible

The Springfield Symphony Orchestra SSO announces a new program to be launched at its Opening Night concert on Oct. 14 that provides user-friendly and easily accessible information on that evening’s concert program. The education initiative is called Real-time Concert Notes and works with concert-goers’ cell phones to text real-time information about the music they are experiencing, as they are experiencing it.

Patrons will be invited to go to a designated portion of the hall for the second half of the concert and receive information via text messaging about Brahms Symphony No. 2, while the orchestra is performing it.

“I love modern technology and am every day thankful that I live in an era where information and communication is so readily and easily available as the phone in my pocket,” said Kevin Rhodes, conductor & music director of the SSO. So we're going to take that phone in your pocket and use it to help break down some of those mysteries of classical music,” he added.

This innovative program was first developed by High School of Commerce Director of Bands and SSO board member Matt Bertuzzi for the Meet the Musicians: High School Edition educational program that brings area high school students into Symphony Hall to experience a live SSO open rehearsal. Maestro Rhodes and Mr. Bertuzzi have worked together to adapt it for SSO evening concerts.

Real-time Concert Notes is bringing the live orchestra experience we all know into the 21st Century, said Mr. Bertuzzi.  “The program notes and blurbs that the audience can read before the concert are great, but this experience will be giving them the same type of information and targeting it to the exact time in the music that it becomes relevant.”

The SSO will try the new program several times during its concert season and gather data from both audience members who used the text-based program and those who did not to determine its popularity and effectiveness. Other initiatives to make the SSO more accessible to all members of the community will be announced throughout the season, as well. “I am on a quest to make the Springfield Symphony more user-friendly,” declared Maestro Rhodes.

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