Andre and some of his helping hands.
Maggie,Sigrun, Trudy, Kay C
Linda, Maggie and Laurie
Sigrun, I, Kay, Edith, Debbie
Kay, Maggie, Carol, Debbie
Thea, I, Elsbeth, Nancy, Lindsey,
Debbie Kay, Sigrun, Thea, Elsbeth
Could that be my extra thank you smile?
Kaye, I and Patty
Eileen and Beverly
Phyllis came to see me at home.
PS, The red flowers shows Andre and Co who helped in the past and who are still working to help promote him.  He
knows about the flowers and in Maastricht recognized and commented on them.   There also have been comments to
fans in the States including: "Oh, you must be one of Sonja's friends".  
Fans Helping hands                                                
USA and Canada tour 2004

In Aachen Andre told me that they were trying to organize another tour to the USA and Canada for
2004.    In December 2003, I found out that there was indeed going to be a tour, and I heard that one
of the cities where they would perform was Indianapolis.    Indianapolis is about a two hour drive from
my home.   Nowhere in Cincinnati was there any mention of Andre's concert tour.  Cincinnati's
December PBS pledge drive was for the CD and DVD, but no mention of the tour.  I also get Dayton
PBS and the same thing happened there, just a pledge drive for the DVD or CD, but no mention of the
tour. I called both Cincinnati and Dayton PBS and suggested that they mention the concert in
Indianapolis.   Cincinnati did nothing, but Dayton apparently called Indianapolis and during the next airing
of an Andre concert they offered tickets to the concert.   I thought that if fans knew of the upcoming
tour, many would be willing to travel, but first they had to hear about it.  I was also sure that the same
thing was happening in the other cities Andre planned to go to on the 2004 tour and worried a bit that
unless fans heard about the tour, this tour, like the one in 2002, would also not do that well.

By now there were about 300 fans from all over the USA and Canada on my mailing list and even
thought we were hoping mailing Oprah would work,I thought that just in case we needed to do
something more.      So I wrote the following to the Helpdesk.

Dear Helpdesk,   

I do not know who to ask this, but I hope you can sent this to the right person.

I would like to help promote Andre's concert tour here in the States.  
Here in Cincinnati there has been no publicity for the concert tour at all,  we are about a two hour drive
from Indianapolis, and I know many fans would travel, they just need to know.       I did manage to get
Dayton on the bandwagon and they are now also selling tickets to the concert in Indianapolis.   Last
time they showed 'Live in Dublin' they just offered the DVD and CD for the pledge, so I called them and
asked them if they could mention the concert in Indianapolis, which is a two and a half hour drive from
Dayton.   I do not think they knew of the tour but apparently it helped because yesterday they were
offering tickets to the concert as gift for a pledge of $180.00.    I have asked the fans who come to my
site to do the same thing and call their local PBS stations if they are not mentioning the tour during the
pledge drive.   I have fans who are willing to hang some small posters in their areas.  Can I do that?   
I now have about 300 fans on my mailing list, they are all over the US and Canada and I think if we all
help a little we can make a difference.  

There are news papers that do not charge for mentioning activities in there Weekend issue, you just
have to call or write to them.  Many cities have local papers that will add the concert to there calendar
without charge.  Local Music stores and Music schools could hang little posters, etc.   The fans on my
mailing list are willing to help.  We all would like to see Andre and the JSO here regularly so we can
come to the concerts more than once every few years.  

I also have a contact with a local news reporter of a Cincinnati TV station.    I would like to ask her to
say something about Andre's upcoming concert in Indianapolis, however I am sure they would want to
show a video clip.  
Since I do not want to do anything that Andre and Co does not want me to do, please advice me.

The fans I are putting a together a nice surprise for Andre and the JSO which I would very much like to
personally give to him at the Indianapolis concert.  Like in Aachen it will be a basket but what is in it will
be a surprise.  

Sonja Harper

The day after I sent this note I received a letter back from the helpdesk that they were discussing it
internally, and a few days later I received the following note.  My note had clearly made the rounds and
was sent to Kerstin by Mr Roel van Veggel.  Several other e-mail addresses were also on the note so I
could tell copies of it had been sent to several people within the organization.

Dear Sonja!

Thank you for your offer! We actually met in Aken this summer during the concert.

In regards to the concert in Indianapolis, yes, we could definitely use some help!

The original plan was to perform in Indianapolis at the Pepsi Coliseum, but because
the pledge drive at PBS isn't doing that well, we are now looking at a smaller venue.

If you send me your phone number, I'll call you and we can discuss in which way you
could help or assist us in the promotion of the concert.

Again, thank you for your support and I hope to talk to you soon!
Kerstin Cornellis
Tour Manager & Press Coordinator

I sent Kerstin my phone number and she called me a few days later.   We talked for about 30 to 40
minutes and talked about how I could help, but also about how hard it is to successfully set up a tour
like this.  They had decided not to use a promoter after the 2002 problems, and now solely used PBS
for their promotion.  Kerstin asked if I seriously wanted to put in all that work and I told her that all the
fans wanted Andre here on a yearly basis and if that meant some work for us now we just had to do

I started e-mailing everyone on my mailing list and asked who would be willing to help with posters, with
putting adds in newspapers,  calling radio and TV stations, music schools, etc.   Many fans were willing
to help try to get the word out.
I designed a printable poster and asked for permission to use it.   I was told I could, but they did not
want me to sent it to fans over the Internet.  Not everyone has a great printer.  

 Andre Rieu and his Johann Strauss Orchestra
                                           US Bank Arena
                           Sunday May 12, 2005   8:00PM
                                        Cincinnati, Ohio

Put on your dancing shoes!!!
                          The Waltz King will tour the USA in May!!

                               Ticket sale at the box office,
                  Ticketmaster outlets or at  
                         For more info:

As soon as the tickets went to ticketmaster, I went to a print shop and had some posters printed for
most of the Venues, and sent them to the fans in those cities, so they could get them posted.    I sent
posters to music schools and music stores within a 200 mile radius of Indianapolis.   I also called all the
local papers and had them add the concert to their agenda.   I asked the fans to do the same thing.    I
had fans in almost every city Andre went to, except for a Memphis, and I think just one other.   A Peggy
in Anchorage, Alaska helped with writing to papers in Memphis and I tried to have someone responsible
for every city where there would be a concert.   I am afraid I do not remember who all helped, but I
know many fans worked very hard at it.   I remember Marijo in Atlanta, (
See my Andre page about her)
Laurie in Trenton, Maggie in Kansas City, Faith in Raleigh, Linda in Cleveland, Anne in Portland, ME,
Kay in Des Moines, Kay and Debbie in St Louis, Eileen and Phyllis in Buffalo, Ellen in Toronto, Trudy
and Elsbeth in Chicago, Marsey in North Carolina, Peggy in Anchorage who worked from her computer
on Memphis, and many, many  more.

At the time, most people had not heard of Andre and never seen him.   The trick was to get those
people who did know him to the concerts.   Like when you drop a pebble in water, the ripples spread
very far, once people see him, they will tell others etc.   I tried everything I could think to be that pebble
and let people know about the upcoming tour.   I even sold some Andre items on Ebay and added a
second headline with information about the tour.   Fun thing, later one lady joined my mailing list and told
me how she was so happy to have seen about the tour on Ebay, (she did not realize that I had put that
in), so she was able to go to a concert.

At a much later date I found out that PBS Indianapolis had only sold 600 tickets.   They changed from
the Pepsi Colosseum to Clowes Hall.  Clowes Hall holds 2100 people.   After tickets went to
ticketmaster, all the work I and some other fans put in paid off and Clowes Hall sold out!    

And the work we all put in worked!!!   The 2004 tour was much more successful and when I later spoke
to Kerstin she told me they had sold at least two and a half times as many tickets as in 2002.    They
were thrilled.    I think the fans were the pebble, that caused the ripple effect.   PBS had been trying
since 1997 and five years later in 2002 still was not very successful.  With only shows during the pledge
drive, not sharing information nationwide, but only interested in what the local station can earn during a
pledge, it is hard to get someone in front of and known by the American people.    

I think we can all thank each other for telling others about him and by helping promote him here, we
were successful enough that he is now coming several times a year!!!   As we by now know 2005 has
been a super successful year and 2006 promises to be even better.     The only bad part about it is that
now it is very hard to get the really good seats.     Not like in 2002, when I bought my ticket the day
before the concert and had first row seats right next to the aisle.   

You can read about the 2004 concert on my concert page.
Continued with Indianapolis basket
Kerstin Cornelis