By Mandy Meisner
I have a confession to make. For many months, I’ve gushed to friends and family about how electrifying it is to hear the Minnesota Orchestra live, my eyes wide with fervor. I’ve gone on and on about what a big fan I am and why their music is important. I’ve written about performances and musicians with gusto, so that you too might experience the Orchestra at home, while sipping your morning coffee.
I’ve been lucky to listen to the Orchestra’s musicians, write about them, and even meet some of them. But, for all the love I’ve been shown, I wonder whether I’m being a true fan, or merely a fair-weather one. I see various posts on social media about upcoming events, think that sounds great! and click the “like” button—but rarely click the “buy” button.
I’m not exactly sure why I’ve been so negligent. Partly because I believe the Orchestra, as a thriving part of our arts community, surely doesn’t really need me to be in their seats—a suburban woman who is not particularly well-versed in classical music, nor has deep pockets. They must be looking for classical music buffs, and potential large donors. And partly because I have fallen into the same dangerous mindset of five years ago; they will always be around as they have always been, I can go later.
My time at Orchestra Hall has taught me none of these reasons are good ones to stay away. All the musicians I’ve had the privilege to interview and shake hands with have expressed their desire and gratitude for people—all people—to be in the seats. Many of them continue to mingle in the lobby, giving surprised attendees a chance moment of connection, which will inevitably turn into an exciting tidbit at work come Monday morning.
I’ve been thinking about all this. And I’ve made a decision. I am now able to show my love for the Orchestra not just by talking about them, but also by becoming a season ticket holder for the first time. And I couldn’t have picked a better time! The 2017-18 season starts with one of my all-time-makes-me-swoon favorites, a piece wrought with beauty and nostalgia, Stravinsky’s Firebird.
I don’t have the VIP season package, and I don’t have to. Because being a true fan of the Minnesota Orchestra doesn’t require sitting in an elite section of the Hall, or having a degree in music, or the ability to give generous sums of money.
To be a true fan of the Minnesota Orchestra means only that you show up.
Mandy Meisner has been a guest blogger for the Minnesota Orchestra since 2016. A graduate of the Perpich Center for Arts Education, she grew up swooning over the Orchestra’s music and loves writing about their performances. She is also a regular blogger on Fridley Patch where she currently writes about local politics and is published by several national syndicates. She lives in the Twin Cites area.