Captain Fiddle Music

Ryan and Brennish

Thomson

Note By Note, A Guide to

Concert Production

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Note By Note, A Guide to Concert Production, a review

Red Cultural Work, Community Music, and Friends, edited by

Joanie Shoemaker.

by Ryan Thomson

This book is written from the perspective of folk performers who have been put repeatedly

into the position of the dual roles of "providers of entertainment," and "concert production

consultants." From my own experiences the scenario goes like this: An organization calls

me on the phone and asks if I would be available for a performance. After settling on the

date and price I'm asked questions such as: Where should we advertise the event; How

much should we charge for tickets?;

What kind of sound system should we provide? Sometimes I'll receive several calls before

the actual concert date, with various requests for advice.

I've always felt a bit uncomfortable in this capacity. What if I recommend a ticket price

that is too high, and no one comes? What if the sound system sounds awful? Performer

Holly Near addresses these issues in the book's introduction: "......the book I've been

waiting for! I want it to be mandatory reading for all of the producers I work with so I'll

know we are meeting on common ground." From this point the 274 page book proceeds

with detailed information about all aspects of concert production including event

organization, halls, tickets, promotion, publicity, sound, lighting, childcare, and

fundraising.

Several different contributors have combined their expertise in creating each chapter and

the resulting information covers so much ground that the book would be useful to both

beginning and experienced concert producers alike. Half of the book is devoted to sample

forms, charts, contracts, and worksheets which will prove invaluable for organizational and

record keeping purposes. Although this book is targeted for concert producers I would also

recommend it for performers so that they will better understand the various tasks of

concert production. Everyone wins when performers and producers understand each other's

jobs and can work together efficiently.

Published and distributed by Redwood Cultural Work, PO Box 10408, Oakland, CA 94610

Written by Ryan Thomson, 1997