Skip to main content
Latest SFCM News
News Story

Giving Performance: SFCM and The Concert Truck Play in San Francisco's Civic Center

Opus 3 Artists The Concert Truck and students performed an outdoor concert for the public in an effort to bring live classical music into the local community.

March 29, 2024 by Mark Taylor

If a truck could talk, The Concert Truck would say its goals are using music to strengthen communities, redefining the concert experience, and making live music accessible to all.

Those ambitions, shared by SFCM, were on display in San Francisco's Civic Center March 8 when the Conservatory joined forces with the traveling music venue for a day-long concert series. "It was really fun to play on The Concert Truck! I loved that it was in an open community space, so that people could come and go as they pleased," said SFCM student Hannah Wendorf. "I was pleasantly surprised at how many people sat to listen for a while!" 

SFCM student Hannah Wendorf

SFCM student Hannah Wendorf.

The musicians behind the Concert Truck are Susan Zhang and Nick Luby. They helped convert the 16-foot box truck into a fully functioning mobile concert hall, complete with lights, sound system, and piano. They are also on the roster of Opus 3 Artists, the leading artist management company acquired by SFCM in 2020 and part of its growing alliance of music entities that also includes Askonas Holt and Pentatone records. 

"By bringing concerts to unexpected locations in any outdoor space, the Concert Truck activates public spaces, promotes collaboration among local organizations, drives economic activity, and brings people together from all walks of life over the shared experience of great art," Luby said. 

Voice students perform on The Concert Truck.

Voice students perform on The Concert Truck.

The outdoor concert included many student performers from the strings and voice programs at SFCM. Pianist Susan Zhang hopes student musicians felt a new and different connection with audiences through this non-traditional venue. "By taking concert experiences out of the hall and to where people are, we remove some of the obstacles to access," Zhang continued. "We provide a way to revitalize outdoor spaces, and a point of connection between humans."

The Concert Truck will now continue touring across the country, presenting concerts on city streets, music and arts festivals, schools, and neighborhoods. "Experiences like this can create a sense of openness and vulnerability, which are essential to community building," Zhang explained, "I think when we are students and constantly trying to perfect our craft, it's easy to forget how profound of an effect our music making can have on others."

SFCM students perform with The Concert Truck.

SFCM students perform with The Concert Truck.

It's certainly an experience student musicians like Wendorf won't soon forget. "I really admire the mission of the Concert Truck and the way they bring music to more accessible spaces," she said.

Learn more about SFCM's growing Alliance.