Excerpted from the Guest Artist Interview of the October 2018 Pro-Motion Music e-newsletter.
Jeannine: For those who may want to start a concert series at their church, what advice would you give?
Mr. Largent: If you have an instrument that has a beautiful sound and you feel it should be shared….do it! Be sure you have enough energy…it takes a lot of energy to host a concert. You will need to be the main host for your artists. Don’t assume that at the door donations or free will offerings will cover the costs of the program. You have to believe in the art form enough to ask people to support it financially. In general, if it is free, people will feel it is not of value. Make sure the leadership of your church is behind a series and will attend the concerts. We’ve kept ours on Friday evenings because Friday and Saturday is when art events happen. Saturday night doesn’t work for a church because you have to get everything ready for Sunday worship…..and who will clean the bathrooms and Sanctuary after a concert? If you are going to do a reception after the concert make sure you have a committee of people to love to entertain in charge…..that is a special gift. The rewards in hosting concerts are greater than the negatives. You will demonstrate that your church values the community outside of the building. People will come into the church for a concert that might not come to worship. It is a door opening opportunity for your congregation to become welcoming neighbors.
Jeannine: Thank you for sharing your insights into creating and running a incredibly successful concert series. May you be blessed in your retirement with new challenges and ever more glorious music.
Dr. Jeannine Jordan, organist and David Jordan, media artist are the creators and performers of the organ and multi-media concert experiences, Bach and Sons, From Sea to Shining Sea and Around the World in 80 Minutes. Contact the Jordans at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a performance in your community.