Tag Archives: Arts

Science and Music Geeks Unite!

Thought I’d share something fun today!  A little Edvard Grieg.

In the hall of the mountain king performed at the Musikfestspiele Potsdam Sanssouci by the Deutsches Filmorchester Babelsberg under the direction of Scott Lawton.

Not impressed?  Then try this because this – is – way – cool!

Edvard Grieg – on Tesla coils!

Uh-huh! Sweet!


Stay tuned next week for an exclusive interview with the Columbus Symphony Orchestra Concertmaster, Jean-Sébastien Roy.  OK – I don’t know how exclusive it really is, but it’s pretty cool all the same!  Super nice guy – you’ll want to meet him!

KISS Principle

To quote Lisa Hirsch, author of the Iron Tongue of Midnight,

Make it as easy as possibly for people to give you their money.

She’s right.


The KISS principle states that most systems work best if they are kept simple rather than made complex; therefore simplicity should be a key goal in design and unnecessary complexity should be avoided.

Number of steps required to make an online donation to local arts organizations here in Columbus:

  • Opera Columbus: 5
  • ProMusica Chamber Orchestra: 5
  • Columbus Symphony Orchestra: 20 (More if you have to set up an account and more if you change your mind about the amount halfway through the process.)

5 steps vs. 20-plus steps.  Which seems simple to you?

Persistence, I hope, pays off

Every month I give $5 per month to the Columbus Symphony Orchestra. Is it a lot? Heck no. It doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of what they need in order to keep up their operating budget – 70% of which relies on donations.

Yeah.  70% of their entire budget.

I did research for this blog and after half a dozen attempts, I LEARNED how to make an online donation to the Columbus Symphony Orchestra. It is unnecessarily cumbersome. Their online donation portal, simply put, is not efficient.  It’s not user-friendly and puts an undo burden on the donor, who will most likely give up prior to completing the intended donation.

I’d love to see the conversion rates.

And to be quite honest – had it not been for this blog and a desire to have actually tried something I say I don’t like, I probably would not have donated. Like some CSO musicians, I gave up, too, the first few times, then the next couple of times as well because I just couldn’t figure it out. Sad thing is? I’m computer savvy – I’ve created blogs, websites, I work on computers all day long – PC at work, Mac at home…this should not be a challenge.

Why so many hoops?

Having a computer and knowing how to turn it on should be the only prerequisite to being able to make an online donation. I shouldn’t have to LEARN how to make a donation. I should only have to go to your website, click a button, fill in a few blanks and be done with it. Casual donors are going to send their money elsewhere once they discover how much is required of them up front.

As for my $5? I wish I did, but I just don’t have more to give, so I give that much. I give it because I love the music and for a non-profit organization constantly having to raise money, every little bit helps.

Imagine if the CSO/CAPA team would consider making a change from this cumbersome process to a legitimately good process?


My research on this comes from open source material. You can check it out yourself and see if you agree or disagree. Here – www.columbussymphony.com. Try to make a donation and let me know how far you get.

And how many tries it takes you to get there.

How Far Would You Go?

Sounds a lot like an ad for the Peace Corps, doesn’t it? Well, I’ll be surprised if this turns into the toughest job you’ll ever love, but hey – you never know!

How far would you go to make an online donation to a local arts organization?

I’ve listed three fabulous organizations below. All are worthy of both our financial support and a trip (or two) to their performances! For each one, I’ve outlined the steps needed for a donor to go from the front page of their websites to receiving a donation confirmation.

I’ve counted going to the site itself as step #1 for all.


1. Go to http://www.operacolumbus.org
2. Click “Support” to be taken to “Support” page
3. Click “Contribute online”
4. Fill out form which includes amount to donate, name, address, credit card info
5. Click “Contribute now” button

Done. Enjoy your receipt / confirmation page.


1. Go to http://www.promusicacolumbus.org
2. Click on “Support Us” to be taken to the “Support Us” page
3. Click “Donate Now”
4. Fill out form which includes amount to donate, name, address, credit card info
5. Click “Submit” button

Done. Enjoy your receipt / confirmation page.


1. Go to www.columbussymphony.com
2. Click “Donate” button to be taken to “Support” page
3. Click “Online Donations” to be taken to the CAPA portal within the Ticketmaster Website
4. Type in Email address and Password. Click “Continue” button and proceed to step 5.

If you haven’t already set up an account, follow steps 4A-B-C-D

4A. Under “I don’t have an account” Type in Email address. Click “Continue” button to create account.
4B. Fill out name, address, telephone numbers, etc.
4C. Click “Continue” button to proceed to account set up confirmation page.
4D. Click “Continue” button on this page to proceed to account front page. Proceed to step 5.
5. Follow instructions advising you to scroll down and then click the “Donate Now” button
6. Select “Myself” under donor information drop down menu (Myself is the only option)
7. Check box if you wish to remain anonymous. :-)
8. Scroll down to choose and click “Columbus Symphony Orchestra” so fund option will appear
9. Click on Columbus Symphony Fund Annual Donation so amount box will appear
10. Type in amount you wish to donate
11. Click “Apply” button to make amount appear under “total donation”
12. Click “Add to cart” button to be taken to the shopping cart page
13. Review donation amount to ensure you’re donating as much as you’d like to donate.

If changing amount, follow steps 13 A-B-C. If amount is fine, move on to step 14.

13A. If you’d like to change the donation amount, click “Change donation” for a pop-up box to appear.
13B. Click “Yes” button to change your item being purchased where you to be returned to step 5.
13C. Re-do steps 5-13 using your new amount and continue
14. Click “checkout” button to be taken to page where you can enter payment information

** 10 minute time limit for processing begins now. **

15. Choose payment option in drop down menu (Credit/debit card is the only option) so form to fill out payment information will appear.
16. Enter name, address, credit card info
17. Click “Next step” button
18. Review your card info / purchase
19. Click the box agreeing to the terms of use
20. Click “Submit order” button

Done. Enjoy your receipt / confirmation page.


So what do you think?

How far would you go to give your money away?

Survey Results: Musically in Tune

My Musical Arts in Columbus survey was conducted during the first couple of weeks in June.  While I posted the Raw Data the end of last week, I’d now like to break it down and discuss the various questions individually, or at least in pairs!

With only 10 questions, the idea was for it to be quick and easy for those meant to take it.  It was distributed via social media sites and a few Emails to friends, family and my fellow returned Peace Corps volunteers.  What will probably skew the numbers a little bit, it was pushed a bit and posted by several musicians – some of whom are actually in the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, about which several questions were asked.  By saying skewed, professional musicians playing in a professional symphony (and their friends) are going to know what classical music is.  They’re also going to know who’s on the podium (i.e. Question 5 which asked who the current musical director was).  The average, every-day person questioned on the street would have been a more ideal audience, but given this was my first survey attempt and I work two jobs, spending time asking people in person was mostly not possible.

That said, I did do pretty well in that regard – by asking people at the arts festival which resulted in 65 of the 177 completed surveys.  Of course, they were all people who stopped at the CAPA / CSO / CATCO booths, so we already knew they had at least a basic interest in the arts.

Those are all good things!

Continue reading →

Musical Arts in Columbus – Survey

The results are in!  Thank you so much for participating and helping me out with my survey about Musical Arts in Columbus.  Your time and efforts are appreciated!

I especially appreciate all your patience and tolerance at my repeated tweets and facebook postings reminding everyone under the sun to participate, too!

All in all, I received 177 responses as a combination of online and paper responses from the Columbus Arts festival weekend before last.

Later this week, I’ll post the raw data, i.e. just the numbers.  After that, I’ll start compiling and analyzing and well – writing about everything. It’ll be fun and for a lot of it, it’s pretty interesting.  I think Question #5 was the most interesting and received a wide variety of responses.  It was the one asking who the current music director is.  Answer as you saw in yesterday’s post: Jean-Marie Zeitouni, but there will be more on that topic later.

Thanks again and stay tuned for the numbers!


Columbus Arts – Quick Survey

Hello friends.  Since I plan to write about classical music – especially within central Ohio – I’d like to ask a favor of you.  I’ve put together a super quick, 10-question survey about the arts in Columbus.  Whether or not you actually live in this area though, your input is still quite valuable.  Would you please take about 3-5 minutes (tops!) to answer these few questions?  As for privacy, unless you tell me what you answered, I’ll only be able to tell from which country you responded.  It doesn’t even ask for basic demographics.

Here’s a link to my survey:

Columbus Arts Survey

Thank you so much for your assistance in getting this new classical music blog started!  Your time is much appreciated!

Take care – Heather

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