As you know, I LOVE to have the audience as involved as possible. I am trying to think of advice for a friend to switch up the concert a little and for me, it is really difficult to answer this without knowing what music is being performed. Anyhow, most of the creative activities stem from the music and moments where there is an opportunity for either audience participation or student movement or something silly. I suppose I can just give you a few items that have worked well for me in the past:
- Splash Zones – I have had signs on the first two rows of the audience that say “SPLASH ZONE: AUDIENCE MEMBERS MAY FIND THEMSELVES IN A DOWNPOUR OF MADNESS… Sitter Beware…” Then, during tutti rests, select inside players have silly string to spray into the splash zone. It is insanely fun…
- Lyrics – I often teach my students lyrics to songs and it is really fun to have the audience participate in the easiest parts (So someone needs to teach it to the audience)
- Skits – I especially love to do mini skits before a piece to set it up. And I love even more to involve another teacher/administrator/custodian in the skit if possible. So, like if you are doing Secret Agent 440… I might have the band director talk about how someone is playing just slightly flat and he can’t find the perpetrator. So he might start at the beginning behind a desk on stage, looking through documents looking like a secret agent, and then during the concert, he would roam the audience asking people if they know who the “criminal is.”
I could think of a million more… But to save time (and to not overwhelm you!) I will leave it at this. I hope this helps.