Off To Eastman Today

Actually, I’m coming home from Eastman today but that really doesn’t matter. Yesterday, I was a featured guest lecturer for Eastman’s “Realities of Orchestra Life” course, offered through their unique Institute for Music Leadership. I delivered a lecture entitled Determining A Bargaining Position: How musicians can use observation, communication, and analysis to determine their value in a relentlessly changing environment.

The students were just as much fun as last year and I’ll be sure to publish a report of what went on next week. In the meantime, you can check out details from last year’s lecture entitled “Negotiating Your Future”, which featured a mock negotiation session, here.

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.

Related Posts

1 thought on “Off To Eastman Today”

  1. Hello!

    I was the overtly inquisitive student sitting next to you when you spoke in our class at Eastman last Thursday. Thanks so much for your presentation; it was very informative, and we’re all still talking about it! You gave us much valuable information to think about and consider as we venture into the music world.

Leave a Comment