In a world that’s increasingly dominated by pop and rock music styles played on small earphones, we want to see more young people enjoying classical music in real concert halls. It’s not about learning to play it, it’s about learning to listen: gaining the incomparable experience of seeing great musicians performing sophisticated music to a real, live audience.
The Bachtrack Young Reviewer Program provides free tickets for a young person to attend your concert (or opera or ballet). The young person attends the concert and then writes a review which is published on Bachtrack.com. This has three great effects: it sharpens the senses of the young concertgoers and makes them focus more on what they’re listening to, it excites them by giving them a platform to tell the world about their experience, and it provides a wonderful archive of young people’s reactions to live music.
In the UK, we target the 12-16 age group, but we’re flexible about the age limits and we encourage you to be the same. One key requirement: for each young person going to an event, you need to provide a pair of tickets so that the young person can be accompanied by an adult.
If you’re an arts venue, an orchestra, an ensemble or company, a university, a music club or any other organisation that promotes classical concerts, opera or ballet, we’d love you to join the program and encourage young people to head for the concert hall!
How it works
There are three steps:
- Sign up as a program partner
- Bring young people to your events
- Publish and promote the reviews
Signing up as a program partner
The sign-up process is straightforward. Register as a user on Bachtrack.com, then go to the signup page at http://www.bachtrack.com/youngreviewer-signup and fill in the form giving your contact details and some brief information about what you’re promoting, as well as indicating your agreement to the program’s terms and conditions. We’ll review your application and if there are no obstacles, we can normally get you set up within 24 hours.
Click here for a pack of materials for promoting and operating the program. These include e-mail templates and PDF artwork of a poster that you can use to promote the program to local schools, music teachers and community organizations. We also provide a logo button linking to the Bachtrack Young Reviewer microsite, which you should place on an appropriate page of your own website.
Bringing young people to your events
Clearly, you have to start by finding the young people! You're probably already expert at finding the young people in your area who will be interested in trying out classical music, but if you want any ideas from what we do here in the UK, let us know and we'll be more than happy to pass on ideas. In addition, we will pass any applications that we receive through the main Bachtrack.com site to a nearby program partner.
Once you've identified your reviewer, you need to do the logistics of agreeing a performance that they're going to see: we've shown a recommended step-by-step process below.
Publishing and promoting the reviews
Once you’ve received their review, e-mail it to us. We will perform any necessary edits: we try to leave the copy intact as far as possible, but it can be necessary to tidy up grammar or anything that plain doesn’t make sense. We’ll then post the review on Bachtrack.com and send you a link.
You are welcome to reproduce the review on your own site. We also think it’s a great idea if you persuade local newspapers or websites to reproduce the reviews: if they do so, we require that they mention the “Bachtrack Young Reviewer Program”, and, if online, include a link.
Cost of joining
There isn't one! Becoming a program partner is free. Of course, we expect you to promote Bachtrack by including links to the site as described in the terms and conditions.
Your procedure in detail
Here's our recommended step-by-step list:
- When a prospective young reviewer contacts you, ask them to fill in and return an application form. Send it with a covering letter. (Samples of the application form and covering letter are in the promo pack).
- Having asked them what dates they can't do, offer them 3 possible events for which you can give them 2 tickets and have a fairly mixed program of composers. Ask them to email you back with their first and second choices.
- When you receive their choices, reserve the tickets for them, e-mail to let them know and ask them to confirm acceptance. You may prefer to make sure that their parent also confirms. Usually it is easiest to say they can pick up the tickets from the box office at the venue on the evening of the event, with the tickets held in the name of the reviewer: this avoids tickets getting lost in the mail.
- Do remember to tell them what time the concert starts, and be sure to send them a reminder 48 hours before the event.
- If the review does not come in on time, chase it!
- Send the review by e-mail to Bachtrack youngreviewer[@]bachtrack[.]com (without the brackets). If you have a photo of the event or the performers that you have permission to reproduce, please e-mail us a copy or a link, since it helps to cheer up the page, especially for young readers! Be sure to include any credits that we need to print to keep the copyright owners of the photo happy.
- When we've published the review, we will send you a link which you can forward it to the reviewer.