Inside the Houston Symphony

Taking you behind the music–one concert at a time!

Musicians About Town

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Elise Wagner at Discovery Green

What makes people feel connected to the Houston Symphony?  That question was my challenge for our season campaign.  Is it the experience, is it the programming, is it the local arts aspect?  All of the above actually, and for the 2010-2011 Season, we decided to focus on the connection of hometown pride.  This city has a lot of pride for the arts scene because we have one of the best. Of course, this is from a hometown girl’s perspective, but hey, I’m the one writing the blog here.  We wanted to connect our musicians and our organization with the people of this city on a personal level with something we can all relate to.  And what we can all relate to, hopefully, is that we are all a part of Houston (and surrounding areas), and we can be proud of our local talent and arts organizations.  Our marketing campaign is all about that connection.

In order to create this connection we decided to work out a campaign where we show our musicians with their instruments in recognizable locations around the city.  Locations like Discovery Green, Hermann Park and a Metro Rail station.  We used taglines such as “Music for Houston.  Music for YOU.”  We also incorporated photos with the musicians in the various locations with patrons, and relating quotes about their symphony experiences.

Phillip Freeman with patron Gina Stevens at the Metro Rail.

We had a great time working on a photo shoot for this.  We had one day to have 2 photographers, 7 Symphony musicians, 3 marketers, 5 patrons and 4 locations all coordinated into an around town shoot.  One of the most eventful of these photo shoots was the one with Phillip Freeman of our orchestra who plays the bass trombone.  We scheduled him as the second to last shoot of the day at the Metro Rail station near the Medical Center.  So we got there with dreams of doing all kinds of fantastic shots with our musician and patrons on and around the trains arriving and departing.  We got all set up with cameras, tripods, lights, etc. only to be kicked off the platform by the metro police within ten minutes.  Apparently you need a permit to take pictures here.  So, our brilliant plan was foiled, and we moved across the street to do the rest of our photo shoot in front of one of the Medical Center buildings.  As we were wrapping up, here comes yet another metro police vehicle.  We were questioned a second time and given our second warning of the day not to get back on the Metro Rail platform.  My favorite line of the day was from our fearless Marketing leader, Glenn Taylor.  When we were asked “Who is in charge here?” He boldly replied, “I guess that can be me.”

Anyway, we ended up with some amazing shots that are being used as we speak in all our marketing materials for the 10-11 Season.  You can find them in brochures (click here to view the brochures online), print ads and online.  And, coming soon you will see some more casual shots of our musicians downtown for our Symphony Summer in the City campaign.  The hope is that seeing the musicians about town in your own city relates that they are Houstonians like us who love this city, and want to bring you the best music they can offer.  The Arts in Houston is truly thriving, and we, as Houstonians, should have pride in the caliber of music, visual art and performance art this city offers.

Support the arts in any way you can because we all want it to be around for our children and our children’s children.  I think the best possible way you can support the arts in Houston is to subscribe to the 10-11 Symphony Season … but that’s just me.


Written by Allison Gilbert

April 22, 2010 at 12:22 pm

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