I was listening to my local public radio station in the car this morning. They’ve lost all of their state funding and now are forced to depend on the community for support so they are in the midst of another membership pledge drive. In return for the pledges they’re giving away tickets to see Garrison Keillor, a dozen long-stemmed roses, hats, mugs and CDs. One of the CD’s is a compilation called “The Most Relaxing Classical Music in the Universe!” Apparently according to a poll of the station listeners, most of them enjoy classical music because it’s relaxing and it helps them unwind.
Gosh! I know that in the world of fundraising, you have to appeal to your donors, but wouldn’t it be great at least try to get some new young listeners? I understand that the younger audience may not have the disposable income to be supporting public radio while paying off student loans, but to spend ten minutes talking about how relaxing and calming classical music is only going to alienate them. Most people, myself included, are not in a position to chuck it all in, put up their feet and snooze away their day.
They say for every $40 individual membership, the station will be able to purchase 8 new CDs. Will this include yet another version of Pachelbel’s Canon, Clair de Lune, or the Moonlight Sonata?
Here’s an idea! Let’s let the donors choose the titles of at least 4 of the 8 new CDs the station will purchase. Or how about inviting some local college music students into the studio to talk about programming. Devote one hour a week to a discussion of the more experimental side of classical music including recordings of local performances.
No state funding? Why not use this as an excuse to get wildly creative?
Save the relaxing music for the dogs.