We don’t get to dictate who is allowed to enjoy art. There is a contradictory message in saying art is everywhere, everyone has the potential for creative expression and engages in it more often than they realized…and then put out a call for all that to be withdrawn.

Joe Patti
Butts in the Seats

What is the best way to start a new club?

7 points to consider as you set up a new group for music lovers

There are three stages to setting up any new adventure, especially one involving a group of people.

  1. The idea
  2. Turning the idea into reality
  3. Implementing the program

Right now, a team I am involved with is hurtling towards stage 3 and it has been a wonderful journey.

Not everything has been smooth sailing, but most fascinating is realizing the similarities between forming the Dunedin Music Society as a public charity, and just about every other musical ensemble or non-musical program I have witnessed being created.

Here are seven points you might find useful when you find yourself bringing a group of people together for the first time:

Looking sharp…

Does a Conductor's uniform really matter?

You paid $60 for a decent seat.

There are a hundred funeral-clad souls seated on a brightly lit stage, each performing their own little solo recital.

The house lights dim, and the orchestra falls quiet.


A waiter from the Ritz Carlton bounces out of the wings with unsavory frizzy hair flopping so much it draws your gaze.

For some reason, the audience go wild and applaud the appearance of a magnificent maître d’.

Give him a top hat, and he could be a groom.

Or Batman’s nemesis, the Penguin.

So why do most Conductors still wear tails to perform in, and does it really make any difference?