Adaptistration every April where more than a dozen critics, bloggers, musicians, classical music enthusiasts, and administrators writing about how average patrons throughout the country can invite friends who don’t regularly participate in live music events to a performance in your area. Essentially, TAFTO is an opportunity for the people who care the most about classical music to participate in a proactive way.
The inaugural year served as one of the very first cross-blog events in the burgeoning cultural blogging community. Although originally intended as a one-off event, it turned out to be a huge hit that demanded subsequent installments. Of course, that success was directly connected to the enthusiasm and imagination from each author.
Contributors: Alex Ross, Greg Sandow, Paul Bailey, Lynn Sislo, Blair Tindall, Lisa Hirsch, Bill Eddins, Drew McManus, Frank Manheim, Sam Bergman, Charles Noble, Kyle Gann, George Hunka, Helen Radice, Patricia Emerson Mitchell, Henry Fogel
Undoubtedly, 2006 was a feisty year for contributions as one author challenged the very notion of preparing listeners for their first time experience. Additionally, a two-part contribution from a theatre manager who organized an entire group of co-workers to attend a concert event is chocked full of useful first-hand accounts.
Contributors: Joe Patti, Pete Matthews, Brian Sacawa, Timothy Judd, Alex Shapiro, Marc Geelhoed, Kevin Giglinto, Jerry Bowles
One of the longest events, 2007 went high tech with a systems dynamics analysis of the dynamic impact of TAFTO oriented events on audience development. Add to that a first-hand account of an author taking someone to their first concert experience and two wonderful opera oriented contributions made for a very well rounded year.
Contributors: Henry Peyrebrune, Jason Heath, Roger Ruggeri, Frank J. Oteri, Paul Alter, Galen H. Brown, Kim Pensinger Witman, Magda Krance, Bill Harris, Jesse Rosen, Andrew Druckenbrod, Leonard Slatkin, Connie Linsler Valentine, Michael Tiknis, James W. Palermo
2008 was the first year where an orchestra went all out with a TAFTO branded concert series. The Grant Park Music Festival planned a wonderful event with patron talks that sold out two concerts and received a fantastic review in the Chicago Sun Times, thereby demonstrating the powerful impact of a well planned TAFTO event (more about that event here).
Contributors: Gary Ginstling, Chris Foley, Jeremy Denk, Ron Spigelman, Charles T. Downey, Ben Smith, Laurie Niles, Matt Heller, Carlos Kalmar
Without a doubt, 2009 was the year of multimedia contributions. We had first-ever TAFTO cartoon, two audio essays, and a mini video documentary about what social media social media means to the arts. And that's in addition to the regular stream of fantastic written essays. Look, listen, learn, and then some!
Contributors: Philip Paschke, Curt Long, Sir Andrew Davis, Brian Bell, Alan Valentine, Giancarlo Guerrero, Molly Sheridan, Janelle Gelfand, Matthew Guerrieri
2010 offered another round of diverse offerings! We had everything from nuts-and-bolts analysis of the value of ground roots audience development initiatives, to a celebrated author providing a pointed outsider's view on classical music, to a veteran radio host interviewing a round of newbie concert-goers. And that's in addition to the regular stream of fantastic written essays. Look, listen, learn, and then some!
Contributors: Lynn Harrell, Brian Wise, Chris Felcyn, Roger Bourland, Scott Spiegelberg, Marc van Bree, Christopher Blair, Robert Birman, Elizabeth Lunday
Paired down a bit from previous seasons due to the quantity of pressing current events, the 2011 program will fill a full week of publication time in April. This year's contributors are weighted toward those from the arts technology fields alongside the usual cross section of entertaining and insightful professionals.
Contributors: Proper Discord, Gerard Schwarz, Mark Clague, Sean Hickey, Evan Schumacher, Timothy Hankewich
2012 is another terrific year as the program continues forward with the pared down number of contributions from an Emmy award winning conductor, an orchestra executive, an arts PR and social media wizard, an amazing playwright and Renaissance Man, and the sort of uber patron every orchestra wishes they could clone!
Contributors: David J. Loehr, Maura Lafferty, Jonathan Becker, Paul Helfrich, George Daugherty
2012 was the final year before taking a short break and the contributions were just the sort of thing to leave you wanting more for when TAFTO returns. One special treat is a contribution from a multi-Emmy award winning producer, composer, and director; in short, someone who knows more than a few things about presentation and having a good time!
Contributors: Heather Brown, Ceci Dadisman, Scott Silberstein, Holly Mulcahy