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Editors' Blogs

Great New Music — And A Pox On Ticketmaster

April 27, 2009

HoHoHo it is CoCoCo – Colorado Composers’ Concert, a yearly affair that took place on April 25 at the Kenneth King Center Concert Hall on the Auraria Campus in Denver. The ever so competent group of Denver musicians that form The Playground (www.playgroundensemble.org) diligently performed 13 pieces that were chosen from among submissions by around 40 (!) composers, only some of them full-time composers, all of them residents of Colorado. The 14th was the exception: A prerecorded video/audio work by Conrad Kehn, director of The Playground, requiring no live performer. Two youngsters had entries accepted, and if the program hadn’t stated their ages, nobody would have been the wiser...

What a thrill to hear fresh new music, much of it never performed before, composed in a great variety of styles and for hugely different instrumentations, from solo piano (one composed by 13-year old Trey Pernell, and 17-year old Shelby Flowers performing her own work) to a quartet comprised of electric guitar (sustained distorted feedback notes and chords), piano, percussion, and timpani, to regular string quartets and works for flute, clarinet, violin, cello, piano, and percussion.

The list of composers, in order of appearance: Shelby Flowers, Trey Pernell, Stephen Bailey, Conrad Kehn, Timothy Brown, Greg Simon, Hubert Ho, Hunter Ewen, Loretta Notareschi, John Cleveland, Bob Gillis, Todd Swingle, Anthony Green.

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So what’s up with Ticketmaster and its deceptive business practices? A concert ticket listed as costing $25.25, once ordered online, gets a $6.50 convenience charge and a $3.40 order processing fee added. My calculator says that’s a 38 percent surcharge.

The convenience of ordering a ticket online without bothering a live person costs me $6.50? And having the computer process my order incurs a $3.40 fee? Heck, if you sell something, you’ll have to deal with taking and executing orders, that’s part of the deal of selling, no? Will I have to pay an extra buck for ordering my next burger and fries, over and above the price listed on the board behind the counter, just because somebody is actually taking my order??

Oooh, I’m soooo grateful that they don’t charge me for standing in line to pick up my ticket at the Will-Call window!

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