Message from Alexandra Warshaw, BSAV Tanglewood Vice-chair
It's difficult to believe that just a few months ago we were wearing heavy sweaters and now we're in the midst of summer with Tanglewood underway! So much is happening in the next few weeks that I thought a list of upcoming events might be helpful.
Tanglewood Family Fun Fest
Friday, July 21
BSAV Named Concert and Bus Trip at
Sunday, July 23
2:30-4:30 pm Concert
4:30-5:15 pm Post Concert Reception, Tappan Manor House
Complimentary Shed Tickets available for volunteers
Tanglewood Annual Meeting/Recognition
Wednesday, August 16
2:00-4:00pm Meeting and Reception, Tent Club
4:00- 6:30pm TMCO Working Rehearsal
This is my last formal communication as Vice-chair of the BSAV. The two-year term has flown by and soon I will be stepping down and welcoming our new leadership. Thank you to all who submitted names for consideration for our available positions; the BSAV has just announced the outcome of this recent selection process. Thank you to all members of the administrative team who have been working this past winter on updating their projects and team members. Their time and commitment is greatly appreciated. I also want to thank our unsung heroes of the BSAV, who help our projects to come alive in QuarterNotes, our volunteer photographers: Fred Barron, Shel Goldberg, Julia Kaplan, Natalie Manzino, and Rita Paul. Of course, I want to thank all of you for your dedication to the BSO and specifically Tanglewood. And last but not least, a special thank you to Erin, Nina, and the entire staff for the wonderful support and assistance they provide. We could not accomplish all of our goals without them.
I look forward to seeing you at the Welcome Back and other functions along with those sunny Sundays on the lawn!
BSAV Tanglewood Vice-Chair
Spotlight on the Tanglewood/Berkshire County Partnership
By Nancy B. Finn
More than 300,000 visitors come to Tanglewood in a typical ten-week summer season. These visitors come to hear the music performed by the BSO, one of the world's most highly respected orchestras; they come to enjoy the beautiful scenery of the Tanglewood venue; and they come again and again because they receive such a warm welcome and excellent service from the hundreds of volunteers and Tanglewood staff who make this venue the special place that it is.
Berkshire County is one of the richest areas for cultural attractions in the U.S. with Tanglewood at its center. All of this has a huge impact on the local economy. According to a study conducted by the Center for Community Development in North Adams and published in theBerkshire Eagle in May of this year, the Boston Symphony Orchestra's summer home, since 1937, has had a total economic impact of $103 million on the Berkshire County economy. The article also indicates that Tanglewood, a renowned cultural venue that attracts tourists from all corners of the world, saw an increase of 10.2% in 2016 compared to the previous year.
Adding to the economic impact, Tanglewood provides employment to many Berkshire County residents during the summer, and a few in the winter. All of the parking attendants are high school students. Many of the Box Office staff and grounds keeper positions are filled by local teachers and other County individuals.
There is a special synergy between Berkshire County and Tanglewood that goes beyond the economic impact. Tanglewood offers many special programs for the residents of the local towns, from reduced concert prices on Friday evenings toBerkshire Night, a free annual concert. Between 2004 and 2016, Tanglewood gave 221,541 tickets to local residents who attendedBerkshire Night.Berkshire County residents also have the opportunity to purchase a seasonal lawn pass for $100 (a value of $2,000) that includes all BSO and TMC concerts. In 2016, 677 Berkshire residents took advantage of this program.
Tanglewood also offers Berkshire County residents free entrance to closed rehearsals on Friday mornings throughout the summer. Advertised through the schools, local merchants, choral groups, and other local groups, residents are invited to attend Friday closed rehearsals, bringing their children and come again and again. Volunteers work hard to make this a very special event each week.
Local resident Rosamund Rice, who has been attending the closed Friday morning rehearsals for several years, says, "It is a privilege to be able to sit in the Shed up close, and see the workings of the orchestra and how things are pulled together for the scheduled concert. Sometimes you even have a special opportunity for a unique musical experience." One Friday, when the rehearsal had ended, Rosamund wandered over to view the archival exhibit in the Tappan Manor House. As she was leaving the grounds, she happened to hear music coming from the Shed and looked in to see John Williams playing the piano and rehearsing a song with Audra MacDonald. "It was a magical experience," she said.
The Tanglewood Family Fun Fest, which will be held on July 21 this year, is yet another event that invites local residents to the Tanglewood grounds for a full day of multi-cultural activities for children, and a way for the entire family to familiarize themselves with this very special venue. This year, all attendees of Family Fun Fest are invited to remain on the lawn, free of charge, to attend the Friday evening BSO concert.
A few years ago, the BSAV initiated the Young Ambassadors program, which recruits students from local high schools to volunteer at Tanglewood as a way of introducing them to the music and the venue. The Young Ambassadors volunteer 20 hours during the summer and have the opportunity to experience all of the various volunteer activities. They receive a lawn pass and a companion pass to attend any BSO or TMC concert during the summer.
Throughout the year, many BSO musicians return to the Berkshires to offer free concerts to Berkshire County residents. On Sunday April 9, a group of BSO musicians performed for more than 800 local residents in a free concert at the Colonial Theatre. In the summer months, small groups of BSO members perform at various locations throughout the area.
Tanglewood has been cited "Best in Berkshires" by the local Chamber of Commerce and one Box Office staff member personally received a citation a few years ago. With the $40 million expansion project slated for completion by the summer of 2019, the enhanced Tanglewood venue will be responsible for helping the local community with even greater opportunities and an infusion of more money into the economy. Tanglewood's partnership with Berkshire County continues to thrive as a win-win for all.