Why, in this age of immediacy and acceleration, slow things down? Why, when people cannot seem to talk to one another, start a conversation? Why, as we hurtle toward the digital and virtual, stress the visceral and human? Why, when the world concerns itself with the new and the next, bother to declare the importance of a thousand-year-old art form? You know the answers: we need time; we need to talk; we need proximity; we need music.

Over the past 150 years or so, classical musical performances have created distance between their two participants, the performers and the audience, with heavy consequences. Separation has built a barrier when there should be connection and energy. There has been a loss of familiarity, appreciation, and understanding on both sides of the curtain. Generations now think of classical music as an arcane arena of the wealthy; listeners dare not cough or sneeze. Musicians are penned up in formal wear; they leave through the stage door and never really get to know their public. It is difficult to imagine now, but concerts used to be very convivial things. People felt free to chat while the music went on, ask that a movement be played again, or clap whenever they felt like it.

Shoreline’s aim is to include you once more. We want to talk to you, tell you about what you will hear, ask you whether you’ve enjoyed it, answer your questions. We want you to meet our performers and vice versa. We want to slow down, take time, reach out to young and old, and share our ancient common language: music. Welcome to the conversation. Welcome to the Society.