"To be honest, the programming committee wasn't sure we could successfully find an audience, because most of us weren't that familiar with his music," artistic administrator Rob McAlear said.
The orchestra focused its marketing campaign on churches, Christian colleges, and religious bookstores. The two concerts, which took place at the 2,500-seat Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium last week, both sold out, and the orchestra took in $250,000 in ticket revenue.
In addition to getting a financial boost, managing director Elaine Calder pointed out, the orchestra exposed itself to a potential new audience. "So often, outreach efforts by arts organizations consist of going out to modest venues with a relatively inexpensive program, and charging 'affordable' prices," she said. "We decided it was time to take a different approach."