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Band concert to be social media friendly, tweets encouraged

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When people normally use their phone to text or tweet while watching a performance, they get annoyed looks from others around them.

But Thursday’s TCU Symphonic Band and University Concert Band concert includes audience participation through social media.

Brian Youngblood, associate director of bands, said attendees could react to and interact with the bands’ performances through websites such as Twitter, Facebook and the Instagram application.

“Usually when you attend a band or orchestra concert, the idea is to not use your phone, laptop or iPad. It’s to be still and be quiet,” Youngblood said.

Youngblood said that instead, attendees would be encouraged to take out their phones and interact with the bands by tweeting and posting their thoughts while the concert was going on.

Tweets, photos and posts will be projected onto one of three screens so everyone attending could see others’ thoughts in real time, Youngblood said.

Attendees who want to participate using social media will sit in a special section so as not to disturb those simply watching the concert, he said.

Alyson Holley, graduate assistant to the band, said integrating social media was a first for the bands but that the idea came after the bands learned SMU, Baylor, the University of Texas at Austin, Texas Tech and other prominent universities in Texas and across the country had done similar concerts.

“We’d heard of other universities doing these interactive social media concerts,” Holley said. “We thought we would try it here and see how it goes.”

Youngblood said the band hoped the social media concert would provide a different experience and attract more people to attend the concert.

The concert will begin at 7 p.m. Thursday in Ed Landreth Hall.

People who want to participate using social media can use the hashtag “#tcuband” while posting on both Twitter and Instagram, or can post on the bands’ Facebook page.

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