Following Up On A Few Things

One of the really wonderful aspects of writing for a weblog as opposed to print media is the ability bring up revisit developments in an ongoing situation. Typically, the only orchestra related issues which ever seem to garner prolonged attention in print media are centered on labor or music director issues. Even so, it’s rare to follow any of those events more than a few months at best…

As such, there are a few topics here at Adaptistration which have become long term observation projects. One is the series of articles examining the events surrounding the building of new concert halls in Dayton, Kansas City, Nashville, and Richmond. I’m pleased to say that I’m putting the final touches on the latest installment of articles, which will start off with a multipart series centered on Nashville.

This will be the third major addition to the series of articles. You can find the other articles here which premiered back in February of 2004:
Size Matters Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, & Part 4

The second installment was published in June of 2004 and the next articles will appear later this month.

Remember Utah?
Another interesting situation worth prolonged attention is developing in Utah. There’s a good article in the 10/15/05 edition of the Salt Lake Tribune by Jennifer Barrett about the ongoing concerns which were first voiced publicly in the Tom Morris report from spring 2005 over the Utah Symphony’s new summer festival program.

Jennifer’s article reports some new information about the festival from a report by consultant Stephen Basili. It’s probably not very surprising to learn that the Basili report pointed out many of the same concerns as did the Morris report. At the time of the Morris report, there was a great deal of language coming from some US&O managers which were examined in two articles (here and here) from spring of 2005. This latest article in the Salt Lake Tribune contains an equally fascinating number of good quotes, from both the consultant and from US&O CEO Anne Ewers. Overall, it’s definitely worth your time to read and it’s another situation worth continued examination.

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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