9 thoughts on “Post-Fundraiser Bliss Syndrome

  1. Peter Browne says:

    As the volunteer who took the call at 12:45 on Thursday that put the campaign over the top, I feel very proud to have been a part of this hustle and bustle. Many of the callers were first time WDAV contributors, or had come back after a one to two year’s absence. I gave the final donor the Peaceful Adagio CD set. That is a very fitting end.

  2. Mark says:

    You’re welcome!

  3. Frank Burns says:

    How many fund raisers per year are planned? Is there going to be another one in the fall? I know fund raising for public radio is necessary but it’s not enjoyable for the listeners. The only good thing is the music selections are better. We hear the famous classical pieces during the membership drives and never get the slow, discordant contemporary classical music.

  4. Frank Dominguez says:

    Your complaint is a common one, and the main reason we generally only have two per year, in the Spring and the Fall. The success of this Spring campaign means we won’t have to schedule any last minute drives to avoid a shortfall for our fiscal year, which ends June 30th.
    The other comment we often hear is that the music is more appealing during the campaign, but I must respectfully point out that this is somewhat of an erroneous perception.
    In point of fact, our guidelines are almost the same during member campaigns as they are at other times of the year. The one difference is that we’re relying more heavily on excerpts and short works, in order to make time for longer pledge breaks. So I guess you could say you’re not getting a lot of the “boring” parts of longer works.
    (YOU could say that. I won’t. I like hearing those parts, and I think that’s part of what separates us from commercial classical stations. I think a lot of listeners agree.)
    As for “discordant” contemporary classical music, we play so little of that during regular programming that I’m frankly always shocked when someone complains about it. We stress appeal in our locally selected music, and leave the more challenging works to the few concert broadcasts we have, such as The New York Philharmonic This Week and SymphonyCast. And even those shows only feature those types of works sporadically, relying much more heavily on the standards of the repertory.
    WDAV plays so little contemporary music that I’ve actually received a program proposal from a listener, supporter and volunteer offering to host and produce a program of modern and contemporary classical music. And the complaint that we don’t play enough contemporary music is second only to the complaint that we play too much of it!
    What’s a Program Director to think?

  5. Frank Burns says:

    Dear Mr. Dominguez,
    I will try to take notes during the next week or two and document some of the “classical dogs”. Maybe I’m unfairly calling music contemporary when it’s not. The contemporary classical music that I’ve heard is something that I don’t care to hear again. In the morning, I need some lively, cheerful music which is what I have been used to at WDAV. There are some mornings when I patiently listen and think that I’ll just wait out the dogs and hope for something a little more lively. I’m sure that others have different opinions and I don’t presume that my opinion is correct. It’s just my opinion.
    Maybe I’m mistaken, but it certainly seems we have a better selection of music during the pledge drives in the morning and afternoon than normal.
    I enjoy very much the Mozart program at noon and the Sunday Baroque.
    I would suggest that you hold the program for contemporary classical music in the evenings after 9:00 pm.
    I’m sure that you would agree that not all classical music is good music. Some it is great music that inspires like anything by Mozart. Others are not.

  6. Mark says:

    WDAV is almost my exclusive radio station; I have never heard what Mr. Burns discribes, namely “slow, discordant, contemporary music.” I’ve never heard the likes of Elliot Carter or Harrison Birtwistle on WDAV. Probably wouldn’t be a good idea to program that stuff. Sounds like Mr. Burns wants only “pretty musical wallpaper.” Perhaps Mr. Burns has such an aversion to contemporary music that when he hears it, it is played too often. His repugnance to it skews his judgment. Slow and discordant can discribe something as old as the Funeral March in Beethoven’s Eroica. WDAV would be foolish NOT to play that! I first heard contemporary composer Joseph Curiale through WDAV. I’m grateful for that! And I bet Mr. Burns would love his stuff.
    Keep up the good work.

  7. Frank Burns says:

    I figured someone would disagree with me, but I’m sorry when I hear that slow, ponderous or discordant crap, the radio is turned off. Yes, Beethoven’s funeral march is slow but it has a pleasant rhythm. Are you suggesting contemporary classical music approaches the mastery of Mozart, Bach, Beethoven, Strauss (Johan not Richard), Pacobel, etc? If you do, I will agree to disagree with you. Are the works by these composers what you call “musical wallpaper?”
    I don’t dislike all contemporary classical music, I do like Aaron Copeland music. I don’t want to listen to the dogs if you know what I mean. Are you suggesting that all classical music is good? I think some of it is bad and should be played sparingly. Beginning at 6:00 am, classical music should be pleasant and cheerful.
    Don’t get me wrong, I love WDAV and for the most part, it’s the only station that I listen to here in Charlotte. I just get frustrated as times with some of the musical selections.

  8. Frank Dominguez says:

    I’m enjoying following this debate, and I think it’s valuable.
    Not only does it help radio professionals to be reminded that the audience is varied, I think followers of this blog could benefit from knowing what a divergence of opinion can exist even among listeners who claim WDAV as one of their favorite stations.

  9. Mark says:

    Well… yes, I guess I would say not only does SOME contemporary music approach the mastery of Mozart, Beethoven, I would say it even surpasses them. They are, afterall, standing upon their shoulders. My own musical sensibilities are solidly in the classical style — Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven. But I have grown to appreciate and love post-romantic, modern and contemporary music. Its kind of like enjoying single malt scotch. Its an acquired taste. Frankly, I still can’t get my arms around much of the music of the second Viennese school.
    Sometimes understanding the context helps. I appreciate Oliver Messiaen’s ‘Quartet for the End of Time’ which is inspired by the Book of Revelation but written during WWII in a German Stalag. The atonality of the Berg Violin Concerto poignantly communicates the anguish of the death of an eighteen year-old girl. Understanding the context brings out the beauty of these works which at first glance don’t sound very beautiful.
    A couple years ago, I heard The Cleveland Orchestra premiere Harrison Birtwistle’s ‘In The Shadow of Night.’ Extremely complex, it was an exhausting listening experience for me, but it really made me appreciate (and dance) to the Beethoven 7th after intermission. Birtwistle kind of cleaned my ears out for the Beethoven. Taken as a whole, it was a teriffic concert.

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