Music New England (MNE) is a unique, top-tier, producing, presenting festival and performing arts entity, organized as a nonprofit corporation under IRS section 501 (c) (3), incorporated in the state of Vermont, and headquartered in Brattleboro, Vermont. MNE creates a win-win environment for all its participants including sponsors, audience, vendors, performers, venues and localities.
MNE productions emphasize creative programming and audience participation. Performers are world-class professionals drawn from regional urban centers. Programmatic elements include symphonic, choral, jazz, Americana and operatic/theatrical productions with imaginative involvement of circus and performing arts. Each of the various elements often involves audience participation. Festival events occur under a large tent (capacity 1,000) and venues are primarily ski resorts, taking advantage of their infrastructure and beautiful locales.
Festival Tent Events
MNE’s signature is its tent, moving from venue to venue, a symbol of magic, mystery and majesty, which honors not only the music, but also its patrons’ imaginations. A key component of MNE productions is its festival atmosphere. Productions feature both half-day events and full multi-day festivals.
Half-day events, much like Boston Symphony Orchestra’s Tanglewood productions, encourage pre-performance picnicking and socializing accompanied by strolling minstrels and circus performers. MNE’s draw is not only the music and performances, but also the larger event, which derives from these informal pre-concert activities.
Extended weekend events center on evening classical music presentations with a diversity of daytime and après concert activities. For the main evening events, highly skilled amateur musicians drawn from the audience (auditions via YouTube) may also participate on occasion with the professional orchestra. For those audience members who don’t qualify to participate in the main events, there will be secondary participatory programs with the professional orchestra. These activities produce audience buy-in and brand loyalty to the venue and to the festival event itself. In addition, MNE provides daytime and evening activities during the weekend festivals, which include entertainment drawn from local musicians and entertainers, along with classes and activities for children, adults and families (see appendix for sample program).
Meeting the Need
MNE events are designed to fulfill an expressed need of northeastern ski resorts to increase spring and summer traffic. In addition, MNE events will fill a major musical void in the northeastern United States and southeastern Canada created by the recent demise of several festival and operatic organizations. As a consequence, these markets have a paucity of high quality full-orchestral and operatic productions.
The northern and western New England countryside is well known for its history and its beauty. It is within easy driving distance of a concentrated, wealthy geographic region with a diverse demographic, e.g.,Boston,New York, Montréal,Philadelphia, and northernNew Jersey. MNE productions will take full advantage of the proximity of these population centers and of the local mountain, sylvan and pastoral settings which will showcase its musical performances. MNE productions will generally take place in tented outdoor venues.
Quality & Scale
MNE productions are international-level, professional events; performers are locally and nationally recognized. MNE realizes economies of scale by working synergistically with established local venues, especially the ski resorts, which have easy automobile access, parking, accommodations, attractions, etc. MNE productions will continue this synergy by promoting these local attractions in a quid-pro-quo for its productions. MNE will have its gateway operations in southernVermontand, initially, its productions will be centered in the southernVermontregion andWestern New England. After its reputation and the exigencies of production are well developed (likely by year 3 or 4), venues will expand into Eastern New York, Eastern Canada and the rest
An essential aspect of MNE’s success, in addition to its unique market concept, will be its disciplined fiscal approach to productions. MNE will never sacrifice artistic excellence, but will recognize that there are clear fiscal limits within which it must work. MNE will not incur deficits.