We’re adding a new educational resource to our 75th Anniversary Concert Season experience; a smartphone application called XXGlen that will provide easily accessible information about the evening’s program and operate as the new platform for the popular text-based educational tool Real-Time Concert Notes.

Alexander Hulbert, XXGlen team member

“Fellow Longmeadow resident Alexander Hulbert and I have created a publishing platform that the SSO will use as a conduit directly into their patrons’ hands to inform and enlighten in an accessible way,” says Ali Fazaeli, XXGlen founder and member of the SSO Board of Directors.

Originally, Real-Time Concert Notes was developed by High School of Commerce Director of Bands and SSO Board Member Matt Bertuzzi for the Meet the Musicians: High School Edition educational program that brings area high school students into Symphony Hall to experience a live SSO open rehearsal. Last season, patrons were sent text messages that were expertly timed to the live music throughout the second half of the evening’s program. These texts offered information on a wide range of topics from colorful commentary about small musical moments, to fairly technical notes on the decisions made by a composer.

Matt Bertuzzi, SSO Board Member, creator of the first iteration of the Real-Time Concert Notes program.

This season, starting with our Opening Night Gala Concert with Gershwin, Copland, and Bernstein, patrons attending a concert will access the Real-Time Concert Notes program by logging on to the XXGlen smartphone application.

We chatted with Matt Bertuzzi to learn more about how Real-Time Concert Notes is changing and what new things you can discover on the XXGlen smartphone app.

Springfield Symphony Orchestra: How has the Real Time Concert Notes experience changed now that everything goes through the XXGlen smartphone application?

Matt Bertuzzi: The new Real-Time Concert Notes – Powered by XXGlen – allows us to have a much more immersive experience for our patrons using the app. The text and slides now appear on black screen rather than through a text messaging service. This will reduce light pollution in the hall to nearly zero.

SSO: What other things will users be able to access on the app?

MB: With the app, we are able to customize, soup to nuts, every element of the user experience. The app will also have the full functionality of our regular program book so, in the future, we can see this as an effort towards sustainability as well.

SSO: Will my phone disturb other audience members if I access the app during a performance on concert night?

MB: When we first rolled out Real-Time Concert Notes it was essentially like are large group text message. When a note came in, your phone lit up like a Christmas tree. Now, with the app, the text is displayed on a black background, so almost no light is emitted and new notifications are pinged with a small blue dot at the bottom of the screen.

SSO: What’s your favorite feature on the app?

MB: With so many great features, I can’t pick just one! The timing of the slides are more accurate to what is happening in the music. The color of the screen is less intrusive. The functionality will allow for not just text-based slides but also pictures, video, or even snippets from the Maestro’s score. Patrons participating in this season’s Real-Time Concert Notes program at a Springfield Symphony Orchestra concert can expect a truly unique experience. So immersive you’ll feel like you were studying the piece with Maestro Rhodes right there beside you.

Visit our information table in the lobby at Symphony Hall on concert night to learn more about Real-Time Concert Notes powered by XXGlen and get your ticket to download the smartphone application. The SSO is licensed to use the publishing platform which is the property of XXGLEN LLC.