The Things People Say

The Partial Observer published an article of mine today which focuses on the two high profile events surrounding musicians being replaced by recorded music: the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre and the Radio City Music Hall’s “Christmas Spectacular”. True to form, these labor oriented disputes have produced some real quote gems, my favorite is the one from Jay Marciano, president of Radio City Entertainment, when he told a reporter from 1010 WINS radio that “there are new synthesizers that can recreate orchestras,” producing “canned music” for anything from “Silent Night” to the Rockettes high-kick tunes.

Perhaps Mr. Marciano could initiate negotiations with Sony to expand their QRIO R&D to include a synthetic Rockette. After all, the QRIO robot can already dance and play handbells

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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