Getting In On The Energy

If you haven’t taken the time to visit the Virtual Discussion Panel going on right now at Polyphonic.org, you’re missing out. Today is Day 3 of a week long virtual discussion panel between composers and orchestra musicians on the subject of new music…


So far, the discussion has been a representative example of everything good that can come from cooperative interaction among stakeholders that don’t typically have much interaction that creates an enhanced combined effect. In essence, it’s greater than the sum of its parts.

Furthermore, the discussion is a wonderful example of all the good that can come from simply getting all the right people together in a room talking about critical issues (albeit a virtual room in this case). As I mentioned on Monday, every artistic administrator, music director, musician, and composer in the business can take something useful from this discussion and apply it to their respective ensemble with positive impact.

If you haven’t been to the discussion yet, I strongly suggest you begin at Day 1) and don’t skip the comments!):

  • Day 1
  • Day 2
  • Day 3

  • 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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