How often are you able to get out? If you’re like a lot of people these days, going out to a concert is reserved more for special occasions thanks to busy schedules and tight budgets. One thing I hoped to discover in my survey was whether or not folks ever got out to see a performance that had at least something to do with classical music, whether that be a symphony concert, an opera, or ballet. Here’s what I learned.
The first question asks where our survey takers have ever been, which musical ensemble performances had they attended. Please remember that this is one of the questions to which respondents were allowed to choose more than one option. That means each individual answer is in relation to the total number of respondents (177) rather than in relation to the other options. In other words, the percentages won’t equal 100 and the number of responses won’t add up to 177!
|Question 3: For which of the following musical ensembles in the Columbus area have you attended performances? (Check all that apply)|
|Columbus Symphony Orchestra||113||64%|
|Pro Musica Chamber Orchestra||47||27%|
|I do not attend concerts or musical performances||32||18%|
|New Albany Symphony Orchestra||7||4%|
113 out of 177 respondents, or 64%, had attended at least one performance of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra. That’s not altogether surprising as 1/3 of these surveys were filled out at the CSO booth at the arts festival, but it’s definitely great to see! 74 respondents, or 42%, had attended the Ballet Met. We had lots of other fun options as well since 42 people had attended performances that were not specifically listed such as:
* Columbus Jazz Band
* Columbus Gay Men’s Chorus
* Picnic With the Pops
* CAPA Summer movies
* Ohio State University ensembles
* Columbus Dance Theater
* K-12 concerts (My nephew Ben’s first concert was a good one!)
Folks in Columbus like their arts organizations and fortunately, we have a lot to choose from!
One person mentioned that since New Albany Symphony Orchestra was only “semi-pro” it didn’t belong on this list. Quite honestly, I didn’t care if any of the ensembles listed were pro or not. (NASO was there simply because I’d heard of it.) That was irrelevant to the question. What was relevant was whether or not people have actually attended and it rather looks as if most people have. Only 32, or 18%, stated they don’t attend concerts or musical performances.
How long has it been?
The next questions asks what concerts were attended within the past year. I was a little disappointed in the results, but it’s nothing that can’t be fixed, right?
For the record, it would probably also be a good idea to again mention that this survey was filled out or shared by a fair number of orchestra musicians who have naturally attended 4 or more concerts within the past year! That’s OK as I did, too, but I sure as heck wasn’t on stage. That gong would sound in no time if I tried!
Combine that thought though with the 1/3 of the surveys that were filled out at the CSO booth at the Arts festival, it only makes sense that the majority of the respondents have already attended CSO performances. The troubling part is that they haven’t done that recently. The results on this particular question troubled me a little bit. Looking at all these responses, I was left with one main question: Where is everyone? Where’d they go?
|Question 4: How many classical music concerts with the Columbus Symphony Orchestra (i.e. not Pops) have you attended in the last year?|
|4 or more||20||11%|
Roughly the same number of respondents who said they have previously been to CSO performances have not attended any within the past year. That begs another question: why not? Where are they? 113, or 64%, had indeed attended CSO classical music performances in the past, yet 108 out of 177, or 61%, have not been within the last year. Seriously – where did they go? Some probably just have never been and those 108 who haven’t been to a CSO concert in the last year are not automatically part of that 113 from the previous question, but at least half of them are. Where have they gone?
What can be done to bring them back?
I think we may have just found the $64,000 question.