Blogging Chamber Music

This week is Chamber Music America’s 28th Annual National Conference and on Friday, the 13th (yes, I know) I’ll be a panelist for a discussion about how CMA members can use blogs to build an audience and make a connection with their fans. Joining me on the panel are two infinitely entertaining and sharp individuals, Jerry Bowles, Founder/Editor, Sequenza21 and composer, Alex Shapiro…


I’ve never worked with Jerry or Alex before but if our conference call last week to sketch out the details for the session is any indication, this is going to be some real fun. Having the opportunity to address a group of entrepreneurial musicians about a subject as fundamentally important as connecting with your audience is going to be a real treat. Alex, Jerry, and I have designed a first-rate handout for those in attendance; it has everything an aspiring blogger needs to get up and blogging successfully in short order. I’ll make the handout available here for download after the conference concludes.

One of the most appealing aspects of chamber music in the realm of classical music is the ability of those musicians to adapt to the changing tastes of audiences. During the planning conference call with Alex and Jerry, I remembered how satisfying it is to work with smaller groups and chamber musicians. Compared to the typical dialogue related to full orchestras issues, talking about blogging and chamber musicians was like going from driving a garbage truck to a nimble a nimble little Italian sports car.

For those folks out there who are already familiar with blogs, you undoubtedly already know just how useful they are at building lines of communication, both static and dynamic. The participants at Friday’s session will benefit from a mass of useful information on a wide variety of blogging topics. By the end of the conference, I expect an outbreak of chamber musician blogs to begin hitting the internet. It will be fascinating to see what comes from all of it; given the creativity which drives the chamber music business, the results should be fascinating.

Westin New York.jpgIt’s not too late to register for the conference and meet me in person! Visit the CMA website registration page for details and sign up online: http://www.chamber-music.org/events/

The conference will be held at the Westin New York at Times Square, 270 W. 43rd St., New York, NY 10036. I sincerely regret that I can only fit enough time in my schedule to go to the conference on Friday since the remaining conference activities look like a great deal of fun. If you’re in the NYC area (or you’re looking for a good excuse to go to NYC) the CMA conference will be well worth your time.

Don’t forget to visit Sequenza21 and Alex Shapiro’s blog.

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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