Looking Ahead To April

April promises to be a month chocked full of great issues:



  • An examination of Dallas Symphony Orchestra’s 10 year strategic plan including an in depth interview with DSO President & CEO Fred Bronstein.
  • A fascinating discussion with a fascinating individual in this business, Richard Kessler. We’ll discuss issues related to executive oversight, board development & governance, and his work with the Center for Arts Education and the American Music Center.
  • A comprehensive examination of IGSOBM, a unique musician’s union in Seattle.

Additionally, you can count on the continuing examination of events in the business as they develop.


In March, I wrote about a new initiative here at Adaptistration which will contribute toward building a new audience for classical music.  Originally, the initiative was scheduled to begin in April; however, due to Arts Journal’s upcoming conversion over to the Moveable Type weblog publishing platform I’m postponing the initiative until May.


This temporary delay will ensure that we circumvent any unavoidable technical difficulties which may arise during the conversion as well as guarantee the full use of Moveable Type’s dazzling array of special features.


Nevertheless, it certainly isn’t fair to keep everyone hanging so here’s a brief preview:


May is going to be Take A Friend To The Orchestra Month.  It will be an opportunity for the people who care the most about classical music to participate in a proactive way; and no, you’re not simply going to get hit up to write a check or make a donation to your local orchestra.


Instead, you’ll hear from a collection of some of the most entertaining, insightful, and clever music and culture bloggers on the internet today.  They’ve all volunteered to donate their minds and time to write about how you’ll be able to move from being a passive listener to an active advocate for what you think your orchestra should become.


Some of the contributors will include:



and more!  You’ll be able to participate actively by relating your experiences participating in the initiative as well as ask the contributors and a distinguished list of professional musicians and managers questions. 


Plus you can expect some additional surprises along the way, we can’t spoil the excitement by giving it all away now, you’ll have to wait until May.  But keep checking in throughout April, there will be a few additional previews sprinkled in during the month.

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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