I love that Hart Park has the Rotary Performance Pavilion. It is a great space, a nice stage - it makes Wauwatosa seem super hip ;-) Any opportunity we have to encourage live music I am 100% behind. And I love that Wauwatosa holds the Tosa Tonight concert series at that outdoor stage. Most of the musicians who are performing in this series are local professionals - very cool!
After looking over the concert schedule, I would have one suggestion to make: let's use some of our community musicians! Wauwatosa has at least two great community groups that I'm aware of: the Wauwatosa Community Band, and the Concord Chamber Orchestra (I'm sure there are more than just these, but this is what I know). They do wonderful things throughout the year, and are community groups - i.e., they play for fun, not for money. It would cost very little to host a group like this - probably a quarter of what Tosa Tonight is paying their other groups (although community groups' musicians play for free, any costs of moving equipment, etc. for a performance should be covered). Maybe Tosa's school music groups would also be good options?
There are many players in these groups, and they would surely bring a lot of friends and family along with them (good for vendors!) for an outdoor event. They would play music everyone knows. Often times crowds enjoy outdoor classical or concert band music more than amplified rock or pop because it can be easier to listen to. Also, community groups would love to play at a venue such as the Rotary Performance Pavilion, but the cost to rent the facility is not in their budgets (I know from inquiring). Why not give them a chance to by including them in the series?
I'm not saying the series should be all community music, but maybe one or two shows each summer could be. It would be a win-win situation, for everyone involved.
(Do I need to mention that other local communities are already doing this?).
My two cents, anyways :-)
Enjoy this food for thought. I would appreciate opinions from others.