economic development

Love for the Underdogs

Every now and then, I usher for Austin Symphonic Band, which is basically a band full of people who never got over the thrill of studying music and putting on concerts. There are no competitions and none of the musicians are paid. Simply put, a group of people enjoy being part of a band that has the instrumentation allowing it to produce the range of a symphony. Regardless of the audience, the band rehearses and performs on school grounds and public venues, as they have for over 20 years.

Too often, there is a rush to seek out sensational artists that are known all over the world. Yes, there is a certain thrill in seeing someone known from a place one has never visited to where you are, even if there is little chance of a close encounter. However, it often skews our vision for those whose talents are locally available. The reason why there are so many local people supporting “going local”: it is generally a lot easier to access people close by than people far away. After all, one of the reasons that tax incentives fail is because those companies bring their own people.

Instead of waiting for people to fly to the cities so that they remain trendy, the time has come for cities and their residents to take pride in the people who are readily available. Many of the larger cities have ballet companies and orchestras, all of whom have trained for years and been through countless auditions. Artists study their crafts, sometimes for decades, and many of them never merit a second glance because so much of the population is waiting for international sensations. So, rather than wait for the “big deal” artists to come from anywhere else, buy a ticket from the folks down the street. Talent is everywhere.

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