Another Orchestra Is Gone

Although it was posted here on Arts Journal a few days ago, I wanted to mention that another small orchestra recently closed its doors forever: the Chamber Orchestra of Albuquerque has announced they will file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

I don’t claim to know what impact the ensemble had on the local Albuquerque community, but I could see from their web site (I think it’s a very tasteful website, much nicer than many other small orchestra web sites) that they gave seven concerts over the course of last year and have been in operation for 29 seasons.

So this certainly wasn’t just a pick-up group comprised of a bunch of gig players.

I also know that there isn’t an awful lot going on in Albuquerque compared to other large cities in the south-west, so in that respect loosing this orchestra will be a real loss for that community.

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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