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CMU School of Music Wants You to Tweet During Sunday's Performance

It seems like social media is starting to touch every part of our lives, and now that includes the concert hall too.

The Carnegie Mellon University School of Music is experimenting with what they’re calling “Tweet Seats” this Sunday. They’re asking some concert-goers not to turn their cell phones off during the Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra’s performance of pieces by Ravel, Mozart, and Beethoven, with guest conductor Ian Hobson.

Lance LaDuke is an adjunct professor of music at CMU, and said while some classical music aficionados may be turned off by the idea of live-tweeting a concert, many others will welcome it.

“There’s a whole group of people that are interested in classical music but are intimidated by all of the trappings of it,” said LaDuke. “They interact with media in a much different way, so we’re trying to find a way to cater to the second crowd without alienating the first.”

LaDuke said they’re reserving a portion of the top balcony for the Tweeters. He will be leading the discussion using the School of Music’s twitter account, @CMUMusic, and the hashtag #CMUHobson.

“I will have some sort of additional program notes and information about the pieces and about Ian that people may or may not know,” said LaDuke. “If they have questions, they can interact. It can be a dialogue.”

LaDuke acknowledged the possibility that trolls could find their way to the hashtag and make rude or disparaging comments, but he said that’s not a major concern.

“I think that the nature of the concert means that hopefully that will not be the case,” said LaDuke. “I think there’s always that possibility. I’m going to try to stay on top of things as best I can, but we are opening Pandora’s Box a bit here, I suppose.”

LaDuke said the school is also working on creating an app for concertgoers “which will help be their concierge or tour guide.”

The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. at Carnegie Music Hall.