Thursday, March 04, 2010
Okay, not at Ahmed the Dead Terrorist levels, but the music program at a New Jersey Episcopal Church has reached 1.4 million hits with its YouTube videos of the pieces performed during services. Bravo to Wayne Burcham-Gulotta for putting these videos up in an effort to educate and serve his parish. It is a model that all music programs should consider, though ticket-selling groups may have to consider how best to navigate rights and dilution of product. Give audiences the opportunity to rehear a work so they can understand it better. Provide an analysis so they can appreciate some of the nuances. Spark a desire to learn more about the piece, the composer, the ensemble, the genre, or the time period. In the case of religious groups, combine musicology and theology in the education process, or provide musical sources of pastoral care. I've been thinking about the mission of musical groups lately, and the clear rightness of these videos (simple, no splashy production values but with good information added) really speaks to me.