Cool Gadgets

The Partial Observer published an article of mine today which examines some of the techno inspired gadgets musicians use in their professional lives.  Even music cases have come a long way in recent years, did you know you can buy a violin or viola case with a Tropicalization  upgrade or hidden compartments?  And how about having a dedicated pocket for your MP3 player with cut outs for the headphones? 

Even conductors get to play with some neat toys as they can pretend they’re in a Star Wars movie when they use a lighted baton in an orchestra pit (I wonder if they would be predisposed to join the light or the dark side or the Force?).

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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