The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music: The new FREE concert brochure for the UW-Madison’s music school is both entertaining and informative — it’s a MUST-GET, MUST-READ and MUST-USE | September 15, 2018

By Jacob Stockinger

The new 2018-19 concert season has started. And the Internet makes it very easy to take out your date book and plan out what you want to attend.

If you just use Google to go to home websites, you will find lots of information about the dates and times of performances; cost of tickets; works on the program; biographies of performers; and even notes about the pieces.

That is true for all large and small presenters, including the biggest presenter of all for live classical music events: The University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Mead Witter School of Music. Just click on the Events Calendar when you go to

You can also subscribe to an email newsletter by sending an email to:

And you can also download the helpful mobile app for your smart phone that gives you what is happening today with searches possible for other months and days.

But there is something more old-fashioned that you should not forego: the printed season brochure (below).

It is 8-1/2 by 11 inches big and has 24 pages, and it features numerous color photographs. Along the right hand edge is an easy-to-use calendar of major events for the month.

It is a fun and informative read that gives you even more respect for the School of Music than you already had because it contains a lot of background  and human interest stories about students, faculty members, guest artists, alumni and supporters. Editor and Concert Manager Katherine Esposito and her staff of writers and photographers have done an outstanding job.

The brochure also has a lot of news, including updates about the new Hamel Music Center that is being built on the corner of Lake Street and University Avenue and will open in 2019, and about the seat-naming, fundraising campaign ($1,500-plus) that is being used for the new performance center.

A particularly useful page (23) gives you information about ordering tickets (many have increased to $17 this year) either in advance or at the door (for the latter you are asked to show up 30 minutes early to avoid long lines); about finding parking, both free and paid; and about making special arrangements for disability access.

In larger and bolder type, the brochure tells you about stand-out special events: the 100th birthday tribute to Leonard Bernstein being held tonight (Saturday, Sept. 15) at 8 p.m. in Mills Hall; the fifth annual Brass Fest on Sept. 28 and 29; the University Opera’s production of Monteverdi’s “The Coronation of Poppea” on Nov. 16, 18 and 20; the annual Schubertiade on Jan. 27; the world premiere of a viola sonata by John Harbison on Feb. 17; the Choral Union’s joint performance with the Madison Symphony Orchestra of Mahler’s “Symphony of a Thousand” (Symphony No. 8) on May 3, 4 and 5; and much, much more.

In short, the brochure is an impressive publication that also provides many hours of enjoyable browsing while you educate yourself about the state of music education at the UW-Madison.

The only major shortcoming The Ear perceives is that lack of specific programs by some individuals and groups that must surely know what they are going to perform this season but apparently didn’t report it. Maybe that can be remedied, at least in part, next year.

Still, the brochure is successful and popular, which is why the UW sent out 13,000 copies – up from 8,000 last year. If you want to get one, they will be available at concerts until supplies run out. You can also order one to be mailed to you by emailing

Do you have the UW music brochure?

What do you think of it?

Do you find it useful? Enjoyable?

What do you suggest to improve the brochure, either by adding something or deleting something or doing it differently?

The Ear wants to hear.

Posted in Classical music
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  1. Hello,
    Most organizations believe that it is still vitally important to produce at least one printed publication per year, especially to reach a segment of an audience for which we do not have email addresses and/or who do not log onto our website. That is a sizeable number. Printed news articles become keepsakes.


    Comment by uwmadisonsom — September 17, 2018 @ 10:48 am

    • There is NO reason both cannot be done and make the publication more accessible. It is also much cheaper to do a digital brochure (no postage etc.).


      Comment by fflambeau — September 17, 2018 @ 8:20 pm

  2. Here are some very large magazines (all in color with many fonts and layouts) that have been successfully digitalized: BBC History Magazine; GQ; Esquire; Vogue; Conde Nast Traveler; Cosmopolitan; Good Housekeeping; the Economist; Vanity Fair. And that’s only a tiny sample.


    Comment by fflambeau — September 15, 2018 @ 9:53 pm

  3. Any brochure can be scanned and put online as a file that people can easily download.

    I agree that it is nice to read a brochure the old-fashioned way, but the newer way is cheaper and more accessible.

    Has this been done?


    Comment by fflambeau — September 15, 2018 @ 12:06 am

    • Good question.
      So I checked with the editor.
      She says it is very impractical to download a 24-page booklet with so many photos and such complex layout with different fonts.
      She says it would amount to 50 MB or more.
      So at least for now the printed version is all this is available.
      The Ear


      Comment by welltemperedear — September 15, 2018 @ 2:16 pm

      • Nonsense. WAA puts their magazine, which is longer and also filled with pictures, online, as does UWBadgers.

        50 MB is not a lot, these days.


        Comment by fflambeau — September 15, 2018 @ 9:19 pm

      • One other point: the postage for mailing brochures and the cost of 4 color printing of a brochure far outweighs any scanning and transmission costs.

        I should know because I am a former magazine Editor in Chief. Just check publications to verify this (many from UW).


        Comment by fflambeau — September 15, 2018 @ 9:29 pm

      • Also, different fonts has nothing to do with a PDF file or scanning. Color does as does pixel content. This Editor fed you a lot of bull, or more likely, knows little about computers and modern technology. That is a point I think the UW Music School is, in fact, weak in. Long ago, they should have digitized performances and built a library of them. They also do little in the way of live streaming.


        Comment by fflambeau — September 15, 2018 @ 9:32 pm

    • As an example, here is a link to a digitalized magazine that is 52 pages long, full of color, elaborate layouts and different fonts, too!

      It is Varsity Magazine from UW

      Meanwhile, the WAA publishes the Flamingle, which is an online newsletter that resembles a magazine (with stories, photos and more). It is full of color pics, feature stories, “Ask Abe” etc. For instance, they recently did a big story (with color pics) on Mike Lekrone. See

      The editor at UW Music School needs to talk to some other people!


      Comment by fflambeau — September 15, 2018 @ 9:44 pm

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