A (Moderate-Length) Message From the Director
What is the only way to truly spread the word of music, as is one of the major Blueprint missions?
Answer: to make it genuinely accessible to everyone!
And what does this mean?
I mean, we’ve seen programs around the country that advertise access to music for anybody in the form of cheap tickets and discounted seats. But is that actually “accessible” to everyone?
In the Blueprint philosophy, true accessibility means eradicating any limits, such as taking away constrictions on those who may want to sing with us, eliminating boundaries on those who may want to come hear and see us, and removing restrictions on those who want to interact with us.
But what does that mean?
Well, for starters, that means being flexible with those who want to join us. Though we are member-driven and financed, we understand that, regardless of whether the economy is good or bad at any given moment, performers face financial challenges just like everyone else. Because of this, we offer flexible membership/dues to every single person who comes to us.
Also, it means that we will make all organization-sponsored performances free to the public. With help from the KARMA program (Knowing And Redefining Music Accessibility), every single Blueprint-subsidized show does not cost the audience member a cent. Now we’ve heard over and over, “Well, when you don’t charge for concerts, doesn’t that devalue the performances?” The answer to that question, including all its numerous facets, can be answered only by the individual audience member. However, I promise you that if you come to a Blueprint show, you will not only be impressed, but you’ll have fun! You’ll hear pieces you’ve never heard of, for certain, but you’ll also hear things you know!
And that’s another way of making choral music accessible: be versatile! All audience members don’t relate to Mozart, all of them won’t enjoy Coldplay, and all of them won’t see the fun in The Sound of Music.
But if you have, perhaps, some of each, then there’s going to be something that almost every single audience member will enjoy during the show, and that embodies accessibility.
Yet, aside from providing access, what is Blueprint about? We in the choral world are often presented with something along the lines of, “Why do you do what you do? This whole music thing?” On the surface, the answer can be easy. We do so because we love it. We do so for the artistic expression. And, of course, we do so because it’s fun.
And, of course, music is such that each time you rehearse or perform a piece, you do it differently. You create it all over again, in a way. You make something that no one before you has ever done before, or will again.
And singing, too, specifically, is a little different. When you sing, you’re using the instrument that was given to you at birth, the instrument that you take with you wherever you go, one that only you can play, and one that is distinct and unique only to you.
Now imagine a few handfuls of those unique instruments all playing at the same time, not so many that they get lost within a massive cascade of sound or buried beneath those who are louder, but enough for a person to hear both the uniqueness of the individual instruments as well as the completeness of all of them as a collective.
That a simple example of what Blueprint is. We hold every one of our performers in a place of importance not just in act and deed, but in our philosophical foundations. Smaller ensembles are created as such to accomplish specific goals. Yes, one of our major aims is to create strong camaraderie and fellowship amongst our performers, and that is much more easily done within the small group environment.
But also, here, we take the unique individual and not only make him/her simply a part of the ensemble, but a vital, important piece of it. It doesn’t matter if the person has had a zillion hours of experience or zero, or if he/she is a leader or a follower, when they are a part of a Blueprint ensemble, they are valued immensely. And that’s how we see every singer who comes through our doors. Not as a faceless individual within a throng, not as a background piece among the many, but as a significant part of the organization and the ensemble, as a key cog in the mechanism that is Blueprint.
Regardless of what part one sings, regardless of what ensemble or ensembles one sings with, regardless of how one comes to be with Blueprint, we hold value in their voice, their commitment, their artistry…
We hope you will come see us, to see what Blueprint truly means, first-hand.
It’s unique. It’s valuable. It’s powerful. And it’s meaningful.