A Few Extra Thoughts On “Keeping Score”

I recently published an article on my column at The Partial Observer that goes into some further details of the “Keeping Score” documentary that was featured on PBS last week. 

But something that’s been itching at the back of mind since I watched the program is how it’s being billed.  According to the interactive multimedia component of the project:

“Keeping score is a major imitative aimed at making classical music more accessible and enjoyable to modern audiences.”

There’s certainly nothing wrong about that, but haven’t we in this industry been saying almost the same thing for the past few decades? Doesn’t that simple fact tell us something about the industry? 

I haven’t quite put my thoughts in order enough to transfer them into words but I’m interested in hearing what you think.  Write an email and send in your thoughts. 

P.S. A few words to the folks that designed the online component of “Keeping Score” websites:

“Please stop designed these sites utilizing the always annoying “Flash” plug-in”

Thank you.

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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