The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music: Does anyone else feel put off by the amount of requests for money from music organizations? | October 22, 2017

By Jacob Stockinger

It happened again this weekend.

The Ear got two more mailings from local music groups.

And both solicited money – again.

It seems like all communications these days include a plea for money, more money.

Up to a point, The Ear understands why charities and non-profits seek donations and he doesn’t mind it.

But it is beginning to happen so often and to feel so off-putting that it is taking the focus away from the music.

It reminds The Ear of when he used to contribute to such worthwhile groups as Amnesty InternationalDoctors Without Borders and the ACLU.

A generous yearly donation never seemed enough.

Every month some new “emergency” arose and they came back for more. After a while, you started to feel like a sucker, or at least a bottomless well in their eyes.

The only solution was to end the annual donation and get off the mailing list.

Now, much of the music business is starting to feel just that – too much business and too little music.

The commercialism is starting to feel overwhelming and alienating, especially when one already pays hefty prices for some tickets.

Is The Ear alone?

Should he feel differently?

Or do others feel the same way?

Leave your thoughts in the COMMENT section.

The Ear wants to hear.


  1. The Ear wouldn’t be able to hear without the support of the people who actually make performances possible. Maybe The Ear would like to have 5 minute commercials between movements during a concert? Or maybe The Ear would like to pay 2-3 times the cost of a ticket?

    Comment by John Doe — October 23, 2017 @ 9:42 pm

    • What?

      Comment by Kathleen McElroy — October 25, 2017 @ 5:46 pm

      • Do you understand that ticket purchases don’t come close to providing the revenue necessary for an arts organization to function? This is John Doe’s point. If The Ear doesn’t like being solicited for financial support, then how are organizations supposed to raise funding? Live commercials? Doubled/tripled ticket prices? Should musicians just all get day jobs and start performing for free? Or maybe all these organizations should just shut down, and The Ear can listen to Taylor Swift.

        Comment by Jimmy Jams — October 25, 2017 @ 11:50 pm

  2. In’t this why Milwaukee created their United Arts Performance Fund? You give once and they distribute money among the groups?

    Comment by Kathleen McElroy — October 23, 2017 @ 5:12 pm

  3. The requests for money are annoying and the special events fund raisers are too expensive. I tell myself I might attend someday but each year they cost even more.

    Comment by drew fondrk — October 23, 2017 @ 7:19 am

  4. to purchase regular tickets to concerts i have to give up what people consider important. i’d like to help but i cannot. the constant requests for money make me feel like just buying a ticket is not enough, as tho i were almost cheating. not pleasant.

    Comment by elaine smith — October 23, 2017 @ 7:01 am

  5. No, it doesn’t bother me. I understand why they keep asking. It’s a tough world out there. However, I do see a danger to frequent requests from their point of view: the more frequently they ask for money, the more accustomed donors become to saying “no.” Eventually, the automatic response to their requests is to ignore them.

    Comment by Rodney Schreiner — October 22, 2017 @ 9:00 am

  6. The number of “final” notices I regularly get from the ACLU is amazing.

    Comment by Bill Dunn — October 22, 2017 @ 8:17 am

  7. It’s the last quarter, and the push is on to persuade people to maximize their charitable tax deductions before the end of the year. Understandable but annoying. All these groups now have “development directors” who have to find new ways to squeeze the faithful to justify their jobs. They need to spend more time thinking of deals and bargains they can offer.

    Comment by Ron McCrea — October 22, 2017 @ 7:31 am

  8. Here is a very simple solution:

    Stop giving money, request that you be taken off their mailing list. Make sure that they know why.

    Then switch to donating anonymously.

    Comment by Augustine — October 22, 2017 @ 5:11 am

    • Excellent solution!

      Comment by tom — October 22, 2017 @ 6:40 am

  9. There have been so many budget cuts by Republicans in charge. And they don’t think the arts are worth supporting, so those get cut first. Public TV and radio too. So they are forced to beg for donations. But it does get annoying. My email is full of requests for donations from many groups. If only I were rich and could help them all.

    Comment by Genie Ogden — October 22, 2017 @ 2:56 am

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