News From Britt Hill – August 2014

My hope is that 2014 will be remembered as the year of accessibility: accessible music, accessible venue and accessible Music Director.

Who’s afraid of classical music? Lots of people, apparently. Well, I am here to tell you that classical music is not just for the well-seasoned listener; it’s for everyone! The term “classical music” covers many different styles of music and spans nearly 700 years! From medieval times to the 21st-century; classical music is now a diverse art form. One of our goals at Britt this year is to create a welcoming atmosphere and eliminate any barriers that might exist among folks who’d like to know this music better, but who are tentative about coming to a concert. We want to de-mystify classical music and make it accessible to all.

Several years ago, I loved it when Emanuel Ax told the Britt audience to clap or applaud whenever they felt like it! There was a great collective energy at that concert. The word that comes to mind is accessible. The concert was user-friendly. Today, we are an interactive society and the warmer the audience, I believe the more responsive the musicians will be too.

Did you know that for the first time in over 50 years the Britt Hill is accessible to all? Make sure you check out our new ADA-compliant Performance Garden, including a new ADA concessions building, ADA pathways and restroom upgrades. During the Classical Festival, we will use the new facilities for our master classes, pre-concert music, pre-concert conversations and more. Please join us early in the evening for intimate conversations with our guest artists.

As most of you know by now, Teddy Abrams, our new Maestro, is an accomplished pianist and highly sought-after conductor. He is an award-winning composer and passionate educator. He’s also approachable. If you see him on the streets of Jacksonville, be sure to say “hi” and welcome him to our community.

We look forward to presenting one of the most exciting and accessible seasons ever and that includes hosting an ever-growing diverse audience as a result of our efforts to expand the appeal of the concert series through a broader variety of programming. Bravo and Encore!

Photo of Teddy Abrams by Robert Frost.