Empower kickoff

Empower, we are ready to go!

By Emilia Campagna

March 31, 2022

The chamber music residency in Ossiach wasn’t only the chance to study and perform wonderful music under the guidance of Chiara Banchini: during the five-day stay, our musicians were told about the new important European project involving Theresia, EMPOWER.

As we have announced recently, a 3-years grant has been awarded to Theresia Orchestra by the Creative Europe Programme to develop excellence in orchestral learning and soft skills acquisition by our young artistic talents. Thanks to this achievement, Theresia Orchestra has entered into the group of the leading European youth orchestras, together with EUYO – The European Union Youth Orchestra and other few acknowledged ensembles. 

The Chamber Music Residency in Ossiach was the first initiative developed within EMPOWER, involving a selected group of string players. As you know, they studied and performed string quartets by Haydn, Mozart, and Boccherini with a final concert at Kultur Forum Amthof

During the residency, we scheduled a meeting to explain the project to the people who will be the most involved onesour musicians. We especially focused on one of the branches of activity, the Ambassador Program and Audience Development, which aims to engage new audiences in part thanks to some of our musicians acting as testimonials (Ambassadors). As Charlotte Michi, Project Manager of Empower, explained to us, “Empower is strongly devoted to promoting engagement, so we didn’t want to explain the whole thing giving our musicians a traditional speech. After a brief introduction, we started a role game to find out together which may be the characteristics both of an Ambassador and of a new member of the audience.” 

Theresians were enthusiasts, and together they pictured the ideal ambassador and the possible new member of the audience: “Words that came up frequently to describe the ambassador were open-minded and emphatic (meaning able to listen to others and not just to teach). Regarding the audience, foremost they should be young, as people over 50 are already part of their audience, a thing that can be seen in concert halls and YouTube demographics. They should be interested in music, but preferably in other genres. One of the musicians stated that it is easier to approach someone who is interested in jazz, for example, instead of someone who already listens to classical music.” The problem of how to expand the audience seemed very important to our musicians: “Some noted that Sometimes it is easier to bring music to the people instead of expecting people to go there. They pointed out that it would be interesting to play in “unusual” locations, because classical musicians usually play in beautiful places, but it is difficult to reach new audiences there”.

Young musicians are especially keen on using social media to promote themselves and their activity, and Tommaso Toni offered to narrate the experience of Ossiach through a “take over” on his Instagram channel: you can find it here.

The project was so welcomed that we had three self-candidatures for being ambassador. The next step will be a workshop in Lodi to train them and plan their first actions. We are looking forward to it!

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About Emilia Campagna

Journalist and musician, Emilia is a blogger for Theresia