Story of Our Beginning

I was recently listening to a podcast about a well known clothing company which included the story of their beginning and the development of not only their product, but also their philosophy about the footprint that the founder wished to leave on the world.

It made me pause to think about Forum Festivals’ early development. The company was founded twenty-three years ago by three music educators, who had created successful music programs at the high school and college level, gone on to carve out successes as festival producers and adjudicators.  It was my privilege to work for and learn from these three. Since 2008, I’ve had the great good fortune to lead this company and continue the good work started 22 years ago.

Listening to the podcast and others like it, I came to the conclusion that many thriving companies begin because a specific need is not filled out there in the world. (Call me brilliant on that one.)

Here’s what the “guys” were trying to achieve:

  1. Although each had highly competitive ensembles, they recognized that, in the trenches, what directors really need is for young musicians to be encouraged in their efforts.
  2. Some festivals just don’t provide appropriate venues for performances. Students (and their teachers) simply work too hard to be let down by playing in a school cafeteria or in a gymnasium, so their mission was to use only suitable venues – theatres, auditoriums, recital halls.
  3. Music study is hard work, but it should also be fun. After all, having fun keeps students engaged, allows them to build friendships, and makes recruitment for the music director a little easier.

When you call our office, you don’t reach a call center nor do you need to explain who you are each and every time you phone. We remember you. There are bigger companies with larger staffs, and they have their place. But you are more than another number to us. You are a valued client and, potentially, a friend.

Three simple goals – we’re still striving to ensure that we are meeting our founder’s missions.  How’re we doing?