More Clever Aussie’s

I wasn’t planning to post anything today, but I just ran across this article today in the Adelaide Advertiser about a new software program that allows music students to play along with an orchestra.  For those of us who remember a play along with a recording system called Music Minus one, it seems to be much like that.  But instead of being limited to only performing concertos, you can play an actual orchestra part, such as 2nd clarinet or cello.

Pretty interesting idea, especially if it actually works.  The orchestra claims they want to raise millions of dollars through sales, but unless they can hook into a big institutional education contract, I think they are dreaming.  That’s the problem with pioneering new technology, it’s tough to make back your investment and it’s easy for someone else to come along after the fact and back in on your idea.

About Drew McManus

"I hear that every time you show up to work with an orchestra, people get fired." Those were the first words out of an executive's mouth after her board chair introduced us. That executive is now a dear colleague and friend but the day that consulting contract began with her orchestra, she was convinced I was a hatchet-man brought in by the board to clean house.

I understand where the trepidation comes from as a great deal of my consulting and technology provider work for arts organizations involves due diligence, separating fact from fiction, interpreting spin, as well as performance review and oversight. So yes, sometimes that work results in one or two individuals "aggressively embracing career change" but far more often than not, it reinforces and clarifies exactly what works and why.

In short, it doesn't matter if you know where all the bodies are buried if you can't keep your own clients out of the ground, and I'm fortunate enough to say that for more than 15 years, I've done exactly that for groups of all budget size from Qatar to Kathmandu.

For fun, I write a daily blog about the orchestra business, provide a platform for arts insiders to speak their mind, keep track of what people in this business get paid, help write a satirical cartoon about orchestra life, hack the arts, and love a good coffee drink.

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