Reaching Out to Past and Potential Supporters

By: Edna Landau

To ask a question, please write Ask Edna.

The end of 2012 has brought a deluge of e-mails into my Inbox. Some were holiday greetings, coupled with updates on an artist’s current activities. Others were invitations to a showcase or to visit with an artist at the conferences which take place in New York in January. I will share the best and the worst of them with you since I think there are valuable lessons to be learned.


Subject: Dreams DO Come True!


Dear friends…

Ever since our show, “White Christmas,” opened in November here in Arkansas, we’ve been “dreaming of a white Christmas” about eight times a week.

Well, we got what we wished for– a very rare white Christmas in Little Rock!!

In fact, I’ve heard it’s the first one in 80 years. It was beautiful.

And yes, the show went on!

I hope you are enjoying a wonderful holiday season wherever you are!

I also am delighted to announce some upcoming engagements around the country and in the UK for early 2013. If you’re in the area,

I would love to see you!!

Jan. 11th & 12th – The Juilliard in Aiken Festival benefit concerts (Aiken, SC)

Jan. 18th & 19th – Electric Earth Concert Series (Peterborough, NH)

Jan. 27th & Feb. 9th – “Hopelessly in Love: the Lyrics of Tom Toce” (NYC)

February 12th – 16th – The Crazy Coqs (London, UK)

March 24th – 26th – The Savannah Music Festival, double bill with Jane Monheit (Savannah, GA)

May 4th – The Caramoor International Music Festival (Katonah, NY)

Details on my website and Facebook page.


Keep warm and take care, friends..

and know that I wish you all a very happy new year!


YouTube Channel
Facebook Page
You Made Me Love You CD

The e-mail from Jennifer Sheehan (featured in my blog of March 30, 2011, The “je ne sais quoi” of Great Talent) immediately caught my eye with its nice positive title (Dreams DO Come True). I enjoyed the human interest story about the first “White Christmas” in Arkansas in 80 years. It related to what Jennifer was doing at the time and the beautiful photo of the snow immediately put me in a holiday mood. I liked that Jennifer’s tone was warm and welcoming and that she shared information about a half dozen upcoming, significant engagements, while avoiding overwhelming me with detail by providing links to her website, Facebook page, YouTube channel and CD. Well done!


The subject of The Hasty Ensemble’s (fictitious name) e-mail to me was “CMA Conference Meeting?”. The text was as follows: Greetings! Let’s meet at the CMA Conference. The Hasty Ensemble is currently booking concerts for 2013-14 and beyond. Do you have time to talk on Friday or Saturday, January 18th or 19th? A rather bizarre picture of the ensemble followed, which, in my view, would never entice anyone to book them. The face of one member of the ensemble wasn’t at all visible and there were no instruments in the photo. I had no idea what type of ensemble it was. Beneath the photo were two phrases from reviews and a link to a new record release. That was it. I find it hard to believe that the sender would expect any responses to such an e-mail.

If you are writing a mass e-mail to people you don’t know, your first order of business should be to ascertain if they are in a position to help you. (I am not a presenter and hence I don’t book any concerts.) You should attempt to strike a cordial and even humble tone that doesn’t assume anything, but rather expresses appreciation for the reader’s consideration. The e-mail should be attractive, with an appealing photograph and enough information to give the reader a basis for deciding whether to respond. The Chamber Music America (CMA) conference is small enough that a targeted, personalized communication, perhaps mentioning a mutual contact within the industry, would have a far greater chance of success. The bottom line is that if you write to a potential supporter or presenter, you have to make that person care about you and what you have to offer. Try sharing your draft message in advance with a few people whose judgment you trust. Their feedback may prove valuable as you continue your efforts to network and promote your ensemble.

To ask a question, please write Ask Edna.

© Edna Landau 2013

Comments are closed.