Tuesday Musical Association uses education and events to promote the musical arts in Akron

The Tuesday Musical Association has been providing classical music concerts to the Akron community for more than 125 years. Its mantra, “Presenting the Finest,” is exactly what it does, according to Jarrod Hartzler, executive director of the association.

“Most of the world’s most successful and acclaimed musicians have appeared on our concert stage. Annually, musical legends such as Yo-Yo Ma, Joshua Bell, Renée Fleming and ensembles such as The Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, and the Vienna Boys Choir comprise our concert season,” he says.

In addition to its six-concert main-stage series, the TMA offers a broad range of education programs and partners with community organizations.

Programs include a complimentary student ticket program that makes concerts free to students of all ages; master classes and student workshops for local elementary high school and college students presented by guest artists; and collaborations with other arts organizations including the Akron Symphony Orchestra and Akron Art Museum.

In addition there is a scholarship program for college-aged music students and the Brahms Allegro Junior Music Club that provides performance opportunities for students ages 5 to 18.  

“All of these programs combined help the TMA provide classical music and music education experiences to thousands of area residents annually,” Hartzler says.  

Smart Business spoke with Hartzler to learn more about the association and its activities in the community.

SB: How does the association measure its impact on the communities in which it operates?

JH: Quantitatively, the TMA looks at the number of people in the audience at concerts: paid, subscribers, students and others from the community. Qualitatively, we listen to audience feedback from our concerts, education programs and community partnerships. When something is observed to be meaningful by the majority of those who participate, we know our programming is hitting the mark.

SB: What are the most important events the association holds in a year that help create awareness and generate support?

JH: The TMA’s main-stage concerts at E. J. Thomas Hall generate the most awareness simply because they have the most public interaction. Through print, radio and electronic media, people hear of the guest artists and, in turn, of the TMA. After that, our education programs find support from students, parents and music educators, many of whom become subscribers, ticket buyers and members.  

SB: How is the association working with the business community and business leaders to better fulfill its mission?

JH: The TMA works with business leaders to help enrich the quality of life in the Akron region. The arts not only provide opportunities to relax, learn and be creatively stimulated, they also drive the economy.

The TMA brings thousands of people to downtown Akron for performances and activities. These patrons do much more while they are here; they eat in local restaurants, shop in local stores and make other purchases, all stimulating the local economy.

The TMA is recognized nationally as a premier concert series, lending national recognition to Akron.   

SB: What, besides funding, is the most significant challenge the association currently faces?

JH: As is the case with most presenters of classical music, one of our biggest challenges continues to be engaging younger, more diverse patrons. Of course, this problem is not new. Factors like ticket cost, the reduction and elimination of arts and music programs in public schools, and vast offerings of entertainment alternatives all compound to cause this challenge.

SB: What can businesses and business leaders do to help the association achieve its goals?

JH: The opportunities are endless. The TMA is always looking for the expertise of business leaders when recruiting people to serve on our board of directors. In addition, businesses supporting their employees, taking time for meaningful experiences in their lives, including participating in the arts, will help to nurture younger audience members.

Learn more about the Tuesday Musical Association at:
Facebook: www.facebook.com/tuesdaymusical

How to reach: Tuesday Musical Association, (330) 761-3460 or www.tuesdaymusical.org