Personal Connection Prose

Photo by Rui Dias-Aidos, REDAV, Inc.; courtesy of New World Symphony


Audience will understand an emotional connection to a piece.


Let the audience know why a piece you’re playing has personal importance to you.


  1. Explain why you programmed a piece, why it has specific personal importance to you. This may be something you have overcome, struggled with, or is close to your heart for any number of reasons. Help the audience relate to this piece through your eyes.
  2. Optionally, you may find sections of the music to demonstrate this personal connection.

Audience Type

What does this activity look like in action?

Example Script:

Piece: Starburst, Jessie Montgomery

Performer: A major reason I love playing in orchestra is that it gives me a chance to connect to something bigger than myself. Sitting up here with all these musicians, I take comfort both in the fact that I’m not alone and that I, alone, am not the full story. It’s actually a similar sensation to the one I get staring up at the night sky on a dark clear night, and knowing that our whole world is just one small part of a universe filled with so many stars.


Our next piece, Jessie Mongomery’s Starburst, brings me back to some of my earliest memories of watching meteor showers on dark nights with my family. Our heads leaning up, we’d look as the meteors streaked across their cosmic canvas, sometimes faintly, but sometimes so brightly that their trails would linger in the sky for seconds after they had passed. In Starburst, there are moments that will pop out with brilliant intensity. The sound of a sforzando entrance may hang in the air of our hall a bit like the trails of those brightest shooting stars sitting in the sky after they pass. Other moments in the music seem to me like the night sky itself, calmly beautiful, filled with points of light. I hope you enjoy Jessie Montgomery’s Starburst.


  • Can include specific musical examples for younger or newer audiences.
  • Can become more interactive by inviting audience members to share what makes them feel a certain way (i.e. “when do you feel connected to something bigger than yourself”?) Be prepared to validate audience responses and integrate them when possible.

Create interactive performances. We have activities to help you connect with your audiences.