Written by Jeffrey Nytch,
Director of The Entrepreneurship Center for Music, Univ of CO- Boulder
This past Sunday the College of Music presented a 9/11 Memorial concert. I was fortunate to have a composition of mine performed by a terrific ensemble of students, led by our opera conductor Nick Carthy. In addition to being part of a very special afternoon, the experience was meaningful to me personally because I don’t often to get to interact with students as composer-to-performer: we spend our time together talking about career goals and professional development, not making music. But this past weekend, we were co-creators of a musical experience.
I mention this because I think as people who are constantly performing and writing music it’s easy for us to take that experience for granted. And yet it is absolutely at the heart of what we’re about: we are musicians, and the ability to bring the healing and transformative power of music to a community that has come together (in this case, to bear witness to an emotional historical milestone) is our highest calling. It is something that we should never forget to celebrate.
There’s also an entrepreneurial lesson here, too. Entrepreneurs of all stripes must never lose sight of the fact that they are, at their core, about bringing their product to people. The most effective entrepreneurs value the product they offer and sincerely believe in its worth. The same is true for us. While it might make you uncomfortable to think about what we offered the packed Grusin Hall Sunday afternoon as a product, I argue that we should not shy away from that in the least. What we offered was a precious product of great value, and one that the enthusiastic audience clearly wanted. Let’s celebrate that! And let’s never lose sight of the fact that the artists who most effectively connect with their audience – and therefore, most effectively build a base of supporters necessary to fuel a successful career – are the artists who have an authentic love for what they offer, and a genuine passion to reach people with this very precious product we all have at our disposal: this thing called music.
About Jeffrey Nytch
Jeffrey Nytch comes to the Entrepreneurship Center for Music having built a diverse career as a composer, teacher, performer, and arts administrator. For 15 years he has continually created fresh ways to support and nurture that career, whether it be through developing commissioning opportunities, establishing residencies with community organizations, or building relationships with patrons. He has also run a small business, helped found a non-profit service organization in Houston, performed a wide range of repertoire as a vocalist, and served five years as Managing Director of The Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble (“PNME”), one of the nation’s premiere new music ensembles.