Confession time: Mahler’s not my favorite composer. So I braced myself to try not to yawn during this video shoot of the orchestra’s performance of Mahler’s Second Symphony (a piece with which I was unfamiliar). Much to my surprise, I got sucked into the music so fully that I was a weeping mess by the end. Judging by the comments we received on Facebook, I was not the only one!
“Going viral” on social media isn’t always about having high quality content—sometimes you just happen to have a message that lots of people really need to hear. The same week as the inauguration of America’s 45th President, when lots of people had very raw emotions, a young African-American conductor made his subscription concert debut at the Minnesota Orchestra, and people were THRILLED to share in this good news story.
The video has since been viewed three million times on Facebook and still continues to get new comments, 11 months later.
Just-hatched monarch caterpillar, summer 2016.
Minnesota Orchestra Music Director Osmo Vänskä is a really busy guy. So when I found out he had an hour to spare, my videographer and I jumped at the chance to interview him about the Orchestra’s new Mahler CD. Cut in with footage of the recording process, it made a great video package to tell the story of this project.
I enjoy participating in sports, but I don’t follow any professional teams. So I found it highly amusing to join the Orchestra for the Vikings’ home opener at the new stadium. I laughed the entire evening—that is, until it was time to go on the field with 66,000 people staring down at us. I almost fainted, then almost threw up, then went ahead and did my job and it all turned out fine. I shot this photo with my iPhone as we exited the field, and it was the farthest-reaching photo the Minnesota Orchestra Facebook page has ever had:
Later that week I posted photos taken by the incredibly talented Travis Anderson, which also performed very well. The Vikings performance was a great way to kick off our 2016-17 season. Watch a video of our performance.
When the Orchestra travelled to New York City in early March, I knew many of our fans were wishing—just like I was—that they could go along. When WQXR in New York announced they would broadcast our performance live, I decided to host a listening party on Facebook. It didn’t reach a massive number of people, but the people who did participate were very excited.
It got quite lively, with lots of visitor posts, pictures from Twitter, questions about encores, etc. It was a great test to see how enthused our fans are for this sort of engagement. See the page on Facebook.
I don’t know if I really had a choice in the matter, but I’ve really come to love the music of Jean Sibelius during my time at the Orchestra. It was absolutely thrilling to shoot, trim and publish this video of Osmo and the orchestra along with the YL choir of Finland performing Finlandia:
I first had the idea for this 404 page back in 2011. But I thought there was no way that our musicians would agree to it, so I kept putting off asking them. Then we had a long period of time where the musicians were locked out in a labor dispute, so of course lots of things got put on hold.
I finally worked up the courage to ask this summer, and the trombones loved the idea. I knew I wanted a video of #sadtrombone, but I didn’t really plan much beyond that.
The day I shot this video, I came back to my desk, sat down, and suddenly the copy just came to me and I quickly built the page. This was such a fun project and has been very well-received by orchestra fans. Special thanks to the Minnesota Orchestra trombone section for agreeing to do this!
It’s such a rare and wonderful thing when you have an idea that solves multiple problems. After the Orchestra made its big comeback last year, we identified several website-related problems in want of a solution.