Take A Friend To Orchestra Update

Preparations for Take a Friend to Orchestra month are in full swing.  There are a few more names to add to the existing list of guest contributors:



  • Paul Bailey: Musician & composer
  • Henry Fogel: President, American Symphony Orchestra League
  • Kyle Gann: Composer, musicologist, and music critic; The Village Voice
  • Frank Manheim: Knowledgeable nonprofessional classical music activist
  • Charles Noble: Assistant principal violist, Oregon Symphony & classical music blogger

Plus there’s a few more names waiting in the wings. 


What exactly is Take a Friend to Orchestra month all about?



Take a Friend to Orchestra month 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.


Throughout the month of May, Adaptistration will feature several of the most entertaining, insightful, and clever culture and classical music bloggers as they write about how average patrons throughout the country can invite friends who don’t regularly participate in live music events to one of your performances.


Why Participate?



If this business ever hopes to reverse the trend in declining ticket sales and lack of participation throughout their communities, they are going to need the help of the people who already care about classical music. 


In order to begin making a difference, each patron inclined to participate should have as much help from those involved with the inside of this business as possible, but on your terms. 


As such, enabling patrons to become contributing partners who have a distinct voice in the future of their orchestras is a necessary step in the process of recovery.


You’ll also have the opportunity to contribute an account of your own experiences participating in the program as well as write in with questions for some of our expert contributors.


What’s in it for me?



In order to make your efforts easier and more rewarding, we’re able to offer everyone participating in Take a Friend to Orchestra month. 



  • Everyone who submits a contribution describing their experience with taking a friend to an orchestra concert will receive a one month subscription to one of Arts Journal’s Premium Newsletters.  Arts Journal Premium Newsletters offer not just the links to the arts world’s top stories, but also our descriptions of the stories, just as you see them on the ArtsJournal website, delivered to your inbox daily or weekly.
  • A wide variety of orchestras are crafting special ticket discounts and other incentives for patrons in their area.  Details will be published as they are finalized.

More incentives are in the works and will be announced once they take shape.


What do I do for now?



Go ahead and start looking at what your local orchestra (or if you’re lucky enough to live in an area where you can say orchestras) has programmed for May. 


You can also take the time to being putting together questions to send in, the more you think about the program the more questions you’ll undoubtedly come up with.  If I can’t come up with an answer I’ll hunt down someone that will.

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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