I promised to report back on the reactions to our trial house concert. Of those attending who filled in my anonymous questionnaire, the answers were as follows:
1. Is this your first house concert?
100% said Yes
2. Did you enjoy it?
100% said Yes (they didn’t dare say No!)
3. Would you consider hosting one?
64% said Yes
36% said No
I had clearly not explained well enough that the host doesn’t also have to be the player, as the ‘No’s added remarks that they couldn’t host a concert because they weren’t performers themselves.
4. Are you interested in going to other house concerts?
100% said Yes
5. What are your favourite styles of music? In descending order:
75% liked classical music
58% liked pop music
41% liked any music
8% liked jazz and blues
0% mentioned folk – surprising
6. Do you attend large-scale concert events? If so, how many each year? Of those who answered:
18% go to 6 events
18% go to 4 events
18% go to 3 events
9% go to 1 event
9% go to no events
I make that an average of 2.8 events per year
7. How much should be charged for an event such as this (music and buffet)?
50% said £10
50% said £5
8. Have you seen an electronic keyboard orchestra like mine before (Yamaha D Deck)?
100% said No
9. Do you know that clubs exist nationwide, dedicated to concerts on these instruments?
91% said No
9% said Yes
10. Would you like to go to such a concert?
91% said Yes
9% said No
So there you have it. House concerts, so popular in the US, Australia and Canada as well as some of mainland Europe, are still relatively unknown in the UK, but seem to go down well based on our small sample.
The only misconception (probably because I was both host and performer) was that you have to ‘do your own playing’, whereas of course you can bring in musicians to perform for you.
The popularity of classical music surprised me – probably a legacy of the rise of Classic FM Radio, as the same question would have elicited a very different answer 30 or so years ago.
The fact that orchestral keyboard concerts are poorly attended is not surprising if 91% of the general populace had never seen or heard one played before. But then the manufacturers of these instruments have never really advertised them, and for some reason they never appear in the media, at least not portrayed as a 'proper' instrument.