Giving Thanks

I received this email yesterday and think it’s the perfect blog for today:

Dear Mr. McManus,

I discovered your blog four months ago and have enjoyed following many of the articles, it has been most interesting to see the progress of various stories over that time.  What is troubling is the frequency of so many symphonies making so many poor choices.  As a professional trumpet player in an ICSOM ensemble, I find your articles to be a vessel of hope; hope that somewhere out there, a symphony will re-think some of the bad decisions, and create a better way of delivering quality music to all that want to appreciate it. And, hope that many symphonies will follow suit.

But until then I am left with only hope and a bit of thanks that I will share with you

Ten things I am thankful during this Thanksgiving and throughout my season: (not in any particular order)

  1. My supportive family  
  2. An undying passion to make music
  3. Ergonomic chairs
  4. Mahler Symphonies
  5. A really good mute 
  6. My education
  7. My health
  8. Teachers, mentors, and legends
  9. The Simpsons
  10. My students

Happy Thanksgiving eveybody

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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