No ‘off season’ for JSYM
Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra Director of Public Relations Paul Witkowski, Director of Sales Josh Schwerdtfeger, Executive Director Stacy Ridenour and Account Executive Bill Cosnotti.
by Max Marbut

Staff Writer

The Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra’s season begins in September and ends in May each year. During that time, there are more than 100 performances in the Robert E. Jacoby Symphony Hall at the Times-Union Center. The 54 musicians learn and rehearse as many as 40 programs each season, plus they present concerts for elementary and middle school students in North Florida.

It all adds up to a busy nine months, but it doesn’t end there.

In the “off season,” JSYM members teach music or travel to perform at music festivals all over the country, making their profession a year-round endeavor.

The same is true for the administrative side of the orchestra. The tasks are different, but the year-round schedule is the same for the organization’s other 100 executives and employees who don’t rosin a bow or tune a trumpet, trombone or tuba. They begin their new season even before the musicians finish theirs.

“The first push is in early spring when we renew the season tickets. That’s a six to eight-week process,” said Director of Sales Josh Schwerdtfeger. “Some season subscribers want to change seats and that takes another couple of weeks, then we seat the new subscribers.”

JSYM’s website, www.jaxsymphony.org, is also a place to become a subscriber and select where you’d like to sit in the hall, said Director of Public Relations Paul Witkowski. Online purchasing and seat selection will be available later this month.

“The website is the hub of the effort. We want to make it engaging so that people want to seek it out,” he added.

JSYM is also making use of Facebook and Twitter as part of the marketing effort.

“We have to get the market’s attention through the clutter and then build a relationship,” said Witkowski.

The next step in the marketing effort for the upcoming season is direct contact when a staff of 10 people begin making more than 5,000 phone calls each week to lapsed subscribers and new residents. While some people might call them telemarketers, Account Executive Bill Cosnotti said “they are more like inside salespeople.”

“And they provide a high level of customer service,” said Executive Director Stacy Ridenour.

She said the organization also has made pricing adjustments for the 2010-11 season. “We have really restructured the pricing. It’s going to be an offer you can’t refuse,” she said.

The lineup includes the farewell tour for mezzo-soprano Frederica von Stade, “An Evening with Bernadette Peters,” Donizetti’s comic opera “The Elixir of Love” and Gilbert & Sullivan’s “The Pirates of Penzance.”

Highlights of the Masterworks Series include Ravel’s “Bolero” and Holst’s “The Planets.”

The Fusion Series is returning next season, combining international music with cuisine to complement the geographical flavor of each presentation. The new menu features American, Russian, Nordic and Hungarian choices.

The Plugged In Series will offer three programs: “The Music of Michael Jackson,” “The Motown Experience” and “Celtic Celebration.”

Witkowski said the new season offers something for every type of symphony-goer. “We’re broadening our base. We want people to understand the symphony is the place to go and the place to come back to.”




Jacksonville Suns vs. Mobile Baybears

Baseball Grounds 1:05 p.m. Tickets: 358-2846

Tuesday, July 6

Planetarium Shows:

“The Friendly Stars,” 11 a.m.; “Tonight Show,” 2 p.m.; “Light Years from Andromeda,” 3 p.m. Museum of Science & History Tickets: 396-MOSH

PC Basics

Main Library 2 p.m. Info: 630-2665

Zine Machine: Creative Writing and Publishing for Kids

Main Library 4 p.m. Info: 630-2665

Jacksonville Suns vs. Mobile Baybears

Baseball Grounds 7:05 p.m. Tickets: 358-2846

Wednesday, July 7

Portugese Storytime

Main Library Children’s Department 10:30 a.m. Info: 630-2665

Movie Madness

Main Library 3 p.m. Info: 630-2665

First Wednesday Art Walk

Various venues 5 p.m.-9 p.m. Info: 634-0303

Hipp Street

The Landing 7 p.m. Info: 353-1188

Jacksonville Suns vs. Tennessee Smokies

Baseball Grounds 7:05 p.m. Tickets: 358-2846

thursday, july 8

Closed Caption Movies: George Burns

Main Library Hicks Auditorium 10 a.m. Info: 630-2665

Tween Thing: Snow Globes

Main Library 2 p.m. Info: 630-2665

Movies@Main: “The Music Man”

Main Library Hicks Auditorium 5:30 p.m. Info: 630-2665

Jacksonville Suns vs. Tennessee Smokies

Baseball Grounds 7:05 p.m. Tickets: 358-2846

friday, july 9

Hemming Plaza Market

Hemming Plaza 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Info: 634-0303

Jacksonville Suns vs. Tennessee Smokies

Baseball Grounds 7:05 p.m. Tickets: 358-2846

The Company

The Landing 8 p.m. Info: 353-1188

saturday, july 10

Buckler Craft Fair

Fairgrounds & Expo Center 10 a.m.-5 p.m. (Also Sunday 10 a.m.-4 p.m.) Tickets: www.bucklerpromotions.com

Tonca’s Birthday Party

Museum of Science & History 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Tickets: 396-MOSH

The Last Band Standing

The Landing 6 p.m. Info: 353-1188

Best of the 48 Hour Film Project

The Florida Theatre 7 p.m. Tickets: 355-2787

Jacksonville Suns vs. Tennessee Smokies

Baseball Grounds 7:05 p.m. Tickets: 358-2846

sunday, july 11

Summer Movie Classics: “The Breakfast Club”

The Florida Theatre 2 p.m. Tickets: 355-2787
Weekly Poll
The poll for this question has closed. A new question will be posted soon, please check back often.
Question for the week of: Monday 04/14 - Sunday 04/20
What was your favorite part of One Spark?
The creators' projects
The food
The atmosphere
I didn't go
What's your opinion on the issues? The Daily Record will have a question each week and it's your chance to make yourself heard.

Poll Results
Monday 04/07 - Sunday 04/13
What do you think about Florida lawmakers considering making it illegal to sell electronic cigarettes to minors?
The results through Internet voting:
Agree - 92%
Disagree - 8%
Last Week
3 Months
Published for 26,371 consecutive weekdays
Bailey Publishing and Communications, Inc. Bailey Printing & Imaging Realty Builder Connection
Covering events in the Realty and Building communities in Northeast Florida.
10 North Newnan Street · Jacksonville, FL 32202 · (904) 356-2466 · Fax (904) 353-2628
© 2014 Bailey Publishing & Communications, Inc. All Right Reserved.

Privacy Policy · Refund Policy