2009 Member Survey
(Prepared by Valerie Towse and Rebecca Shearer)
1. We currently see ourselves as “an adult orchestra representing the Nelson area with a mix of competent amateur and professional-standard players”. What best matches your description of what you want the NSO to be?
o “All comers” – No
o 12 want an adult community orchestra with a mix of amateur and ex-professional players
o 11 want experienced players
o 7 want competent younger players included
2. Our aims are currently “to produce quality concerts of orchestral music for the Nelson community” and “to provide opportunities for advanced musicians to prepare and gain satisfaction from performing a variety of orchestral music as members of the orchestra and as soloists”. Do you agree with these aims? Please comment.
o 27 agree
o 3 have concerns
3. Why do you play in the NSO?
Summary of the majority of comments
o Love it!
o Makes me practice
o Like-minded friends/musicians
o Choice of music good
o Learn from conductors, tutors, soloists
o Experience of playing with others
4. How do you want to see the orchestra develop over the next two to three years? Please comment.
o Improve standard of playing
o Have good conductors
o Many other suggestions
5. Does the orchestra’s present commitment to 5 concerts per annum suit you personally as a player? Please comment.
o 23 yes
o 6 no
6. The current plan for a rehearsal schedule is six Wednesday evenings 7.20-9.30pm, one Saturday morning rehearsal the week before the concert, three evening rehearsals in the last week starting at 7.00pm and a Saturday morning on the day. All rehearsals currently have at a tea break of up to 20 minutes Is there anything about this format you would like changed?
o 22 no major change
o 7 last week exhausting
o 6 shorter tea break
o 3 eliminate the tea break
o 1 have longer rehearsal (6.50 turn-up/start 7)
o Some suggestions
7. Do the current rehearsal schedules afford you enough time personally to learn your part? What would make them work better for you? Please comment.
o 21 yes
o 3 be given the music before the first rehearsal
8. The subscription fee for the year is $50 or $15 per concert. Are you happy with this amount? Please comment.
o 25 yes
o 3 no
9. Would you be prepared to pay an additional $75 subscription fee to employ a conductor such as Ken Young or Marc Taddei to conduct one of the concerts next year?
o 14 yes...if...(some suggestions – programme worth it, suitable local not available, not for every concert, etc)
o 11 no
o Some other comments
10. Do you feel well supported by your section members and the leadership of your section? If not, please suggest how this could be improved?
o 12 yes
o 4 no
o 14 general comments/suggestions
11. Do you enjoy playing in separate wind and/or string pieces? If so, what makes them enjoyable or you? If not, why not?
o 10 Yes – great repertoire (3), variety (3), special sound, element of chamber music, listen, play in tune.
o 7 No – We are a full symphony orchestra (4), let the winds do that whilst we practice our orchestral parts (2), more pressure (1)
o 10 Yes – Fun, more enjoyable, challenge, only opportunity in Nelson, tuning, precision, but...time to practice?/equal ability players?
o 2 No – Internal politics – not pleasant, enjoy but prefer with strings
12. What would you like to see included in upcoming NSO programmes e.g. repertoire, composers, particular soloists, conductors, instruments, collaborations with other performance groups, particular themes and formats for concerts?
o Meaty, brassy symphony
o NZ composers
o Various composers and soloists suggested
13. Do you have any suggestions for workshops or master classes for orchestra members?
o 8 No
o Some interest from string players
o Hutt Valley Orchestra weekends should be promoted
o John Thomson to talk to everyone but especially string players
14. Do you use the NSO website? If so, what do you use it for? Could it be more helpful to you? Please comment.
o 4 not into computers
o Positive feedback especially for rehearsal schedule
o Few suggestions made
15. How often have you promoted NSO concerts to friends, family and colleagues?
o 14 always
o 15 sometimes
o 1 never
16. Do you display a poster and/or flyer?
o 15 yes
o 4 will try to
o 8 no
o 1 nowhere to put it
17. Do you know who is on the NSO committee, their roles and how to contact them?
o 16 Yes
o 11 Sort of (who but not roles)
o 2 No
18. Do you think the NSO has enough, too many or not enough social events in addition to concerts? Have you any suggestions for future social events?
o 10 O.K./enough
o 6 prefer combined with playing
o 5 more, different, suggestions, not sure
o 2 too many/don’t need them
19. Is there anything else about the NSO you would like changed, improved or introduced and why?
o Full attendance
o Local soloists
o Local conductors
o Relaxed conductors
o All good players, no weak links in the chain
o More young players
o Music issued before the first rehearsal
o Tell members how music is chosen
o Dress code – no colours (bow ties, cummerbunds, maroon ok)
o Clear policy for choosing players
Please note this is a summary of the NSO Members Survey. The complete copy of all comments is available from the Committee if you want to read it.