Those speakers are for what, now?

Why are many performers using sound systems during their concerts?

I once attended a concert and felt a tingle in my arms.

Not because of a heart-attack, nor because I was cold.

There was a moment of simple beauty.

A “Goosebump Moment” as George Marriner Maull of the Discovery Orchestra calls it.

What causes such music-inspired goosebumps?


A whole bunch of things, really, not least of which is the sheer physical vibrations of the air in the room. At that particular event a series of sound waves puncturing the atmosphere hit me at just the right frequency to cause my physical being to shudder with excitement.

Sound familiar? I sure hope so!

Another concert of exactly the same piece a little while later failed to reproduce a goosebump moment. Why would that be?

A whole bunch of reasons, really, not least of which was the sheer bombardment of sound that neither my brain nor my body knew what to do with. At that particular event the performing ensemble had multiple microphones on stage and an audio engineer in an open booth at the back of the room underneath a balcony ‘balancing’ the sound.

Disturbed and agitated

Even to a trained ear it was difficult to audibly tell the difference between the acoustic version and the version supported by a sound system, other than the fact that one performance felt special and the other felt disturbed and agitated.

There is no need to reproduce live classical music with electronic support! Don’t get me wrong – there are plenty of times a sound system is useful in concert, and sometimes necessary, but not as frequently as some folk like us to believe.

For example, how can you hear the Emcee/ MC/ Master of Ceremonies or Conductor talk between pieces? Or how do you hear the recording of nightingales that Respighi calls for in the third movement of his marvelous piece Pines of Rome?

But regular, violin, clarinet, piano or other straight instrument playing or singing should not need supporting through a sound system. Why not?

Here’s what happens with those sound waves:

Acoustic Performances



Performances with a speaker



Performances with multiple speakers



Performances with multiple performers and multiple speakers



Performances mimicking trendy concert practices with multiple banks of speakers



How is this enhancing music? I don’t get it. Give me that first speaker-free option any day of the week, please!

Do you think sound systems in classical music are helpful or harmful?


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Which Musical Character are YOU?

Combine psychology and industry research to find dormant natural abilities and a possible new focus!

We all have strengths and weaknesses – things we are good at and things we are not so good at.

  • Businesses do SWOT analyses.
  • Individuals take personality tests.
  • Some organizations encourage their members to take a Spiritual Gifts test.

If you are a musician or a supporter of live music, what are your industry-related strengths and weaknesses?

Wouldn’t it be a dream if we could combine some of the latest practical psychological research with the most realistic music research conducted in recent years?

I like making dreams come true, so I did. And now YOU get to benefit!

Piano outside

Bruch: Scottish Fantasy

Stephen's Classical Rate N Slate

Hear what British American Conductor Composer Stephen P Brown has to say about classical music, and why you should find a local performance to attend. You might agree with his rating and slating! Listen to Stephen’s Hall of Fame concert every morning and evening on Classic Pinellas Radio.

Download mp3 or buy CD:

Why does Classical Music shut down over the Summer?

Not all audiences can access out of town Festivals and Summer Camps

I have never understood the Classical Music industry’s obsession with the Academic school year.

Okay, schools take the Summer off so that kids can go out to the fields and help bring in the harvest. Wait… does anyone still do that? [Shakes head rapidly] That discussion will have to wait.

Last week there were forty-four concerts in my town. Four of them could be deemed “Classical.” This week, there are thirty-five concerts in my town, and one of them is Classical. Yes, I wrote “1.” In fact, it’s not even in my town – it’s half an hour away, but my local rag (newspaper) listed it anyway.

bar concert

The most unexpected networking question. And answer.

Networking Events = Ugh. Unless you choose to make them interesting.

Networking involves a multifaceted approach and numerous mediums (media?).

A networking event is just one of them, and gets a really bad rap because of the really bad practices people tend to employ at them.

After years of avoiding every networking event that came my way I figured things might have changed by now.



Classic Pinellas Radio Founder, Conductor Composer Stephen P Brown, is committed to bringing good percussion music to life.

Classic Pinellas RadioLaunched earlier in 2016, Classic Pinellas Radio has already had an impact in the local Tampa Bay arts scene, and regularly plays globally to listeners as far as Australia and Germany. The goal of the station is to expose “normal people” to snippets of listenable classical music much like the highly successful Classic FM radio station in the UK has done for almost 25 years.

A better way to bring great music to life

Neither classical music nor the radio are dying out...

One of the most intriguing transformations live music has seen over the past 25 years has been the way Classical/ Orchestral/ Choral music is presented.

A large part of that has been to include non-classical repertoire in concerts, such as movie music, show tunes, and backing rock singers. But there is something else more supportive, easier to work with, and much more directly impacting: Radio.

In the UK particularly, the founding of Classic FM in 1992 shook up the classical music radio world significantly and, despite its original critics (some of whom have since appeared as hosts on the station!), it is now both a staple in British life and an important tool that reminds the public how important it is to include live music in their daily routine.

Now that opportunity is making its way to the USA.

Classic Pinellas Radio

More of the best advice you were ever given: Bill Findeison

What do you know now that you wish you knew when you got started?

Bill Findeison

What is your official title?

  • Conductor and Musical Director, Second Winds (symhonic band), and
  • Executive Director of The Greater St. Petersburg Area Awesome, Original Second Time Arounders Marching Band.

What project will you be working on in three months from today?

  • We’ll be working on preparations to take our 200-piece marching band to Seattle in July for the Seafair.