Rebecca Krause-HardieRobert Lauver  

Blogging with Video: An Interview with Bob Lauver, Horn Player and Digital Storyteller

Rebecca Krause-Hardie & Robert Lauver
March 13, 2019

Editor's Abstract (Click to Hide)

I met Rebecca Krause-Hardie at a musicians' luncheon at the League's 2007 conference in Nashville. After discovering several mutual friends in the horn world, we started talking about how orchestras use technology. Rebecca's extensive experience in adapting new media to the arts world impressed me enormously, and I urged her to share her knowledge with Polyphonic readers.

Her first contribution is an interview with Bob Lauver, Pittsburgh Symphony hornist, who is producing some very creative videos for the PSO's blog.

- Ann Drinan

When I visited Pittsburgh recently I had the great opportunity to spend a little time with Bob Lauver, hornist in the Pittsburgh Symphony.

Bob is one of the favorite voices on the PSO’s blog, which includes blogs by musicians and staff as well as others outside the organization. Jeff Tsai, PSO staffer, says, “The original purpose was to drive more web traffic, and therefore more foot traffic, to the symphony. We had this naive idea that the involvement of volunteer writers would somehow duplicate the role of newspapers — magically at 1:00 AM after a concert, blogs would appear about the concert, people would flood the site to read and comment, and ticket sales would soar.” In reality, the blog can be a powerful tool to help build powerful relationships and loyalty, but it doesn’t necessarily translate directly into sales. And one of the keys to successful blogging is the quality of the individual authors rather than the ‘organization.’

I asked Bob how he got involved with the symphony’s blog and video projects.

Robert Lauver: A couple of the staff approached me and asked if I would be interested in participating. They were looking for musician perspectives to include in the written blogs. I began to think that a video version could be fun and effective.

Rebecca Krause-Hardie: How do you decide what subject to use and how to approach it?

RL: If there’s a vibe of something to talk about or make a video about, I do it. Just seeing YouTube made me realize there were a lot of interesting things being done through video that were creative and fun.

One of the first video blogs I did was Master Peter’s Puppet Show — a behind-the-scenes perspective seemed like a natural. Supporting the narrative with video scenes was easy.

Master Peter’s Puppet Show

In this video blog Bob interviews Judy Barry Brown about how the puppets and puppeteers create the scene and maneuver their puppets for their Don Quixote story.

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