When was the last time you went to the symphony dressed in your jeans? When was the last time you went to the symphony dressed in your jeans and were encouraged to clap at any time if you were so moved? Elitist 19th-century practices of dressing in one’s finest and clapping politely (but never between movements!) may have become traditions in many symphony circles, but they will not be made traditions for the Taneycomo Festival Orchestra. This is an orchestra where the only rule for the audience is that you do not pretend to enjoy the music. At a TFO concert you will be encouraged to clap when and if you want to, even -gasp- in the middle of piece. And if the music soothes you to sleep, rest assured that the orchestra will not be offended to hear your gentle snore join in the sonorities. And, oh yeah, every concert put on by TFO is free to attend.
Dr. Larkin Sanders knows this is not considered normal behavior at a classical concert, and that is exactly why she started the Taneycomo Festival Orchestra seven years ago. She thinks the decline of interest in classical music has a lot to do with the high-cost of attendance and the extreme, unspoken expectations the performers place on audience members. She wants this orchestra to be a leader of the changing classical culture, the one that says classical music is for everyone, not just the rich and highly educated. Rules? What rules? It’s music.
If you happen to be passing through Branson, MO sometime between June 19th and July 1st, you simply have no excuse not to check out this festival. Find the TFO concert schedule at http://www.taneycomofestivalorchestra.org/concert-schedule, and come as you are to enjoy some beautiful music!