Survey – Applause & Pretentiousness

Since Monday, the numbers of personal emails I’ve received along with public comments on this issue have prompted me to put together a little survey about applauding between movements and whether or not orchestra concerts are pretentious…

More importantly, the survey allows respondents to identify their connection to the orchestra field. This will help define a clearer picture of whether or not any defined group of constituents (managers, musicians, patrons, etc.) has similar feelings on these issues. I’ll leave the survey up over the weekend and post something with the results next week.

The survey is only four questions so it won’t take more than a few moments of your time:


Make sure you stop by tomorrow, I have a very special treat in store on the issue of applause. A well known artistic name in the business is going to weigh in on the issue – so add a reminder to your calendar, you won’t want to miss out.

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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