Final Survey Update

I’m back from my business trip and while getting caught up on everything waiting here for me today, I thought I’d post a final report for the Applause & Pretentiousness survey. Since the last report, there have been an additional 52 responses…

Although each category changed a bit in the final tabulation, each question experienced more than a 2% +/- change. Here are the final results:

As for how respondents voted based on how they identified themselves, that data was within the same 2% +/- variance as the cumulative results. As such, I didn’t take the time to create new charts for that data but you can see how those groups voted from the previous article in this series by following this link.

This survey is now closed but look for additional surveys in the future.

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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2 thoughts on “Final Survey Update”

  1. As long as music is considered nothing more than “entertainment” and a night out at a symphony concert a “social
    occasion,” then Pavlovian responses like clapping at the moment the music stops, is what I guess the serious, “pretentious” concert-goer is going to have to suffer. No doubt, in time, one can wish, people who make a habit of going to concerts will catch on to the meaning of it all, coming full circle from the time when
    looser standards of concert behavior prevailed. (I’m thinking of those audiences of the late 19th century who used to talk and parade around during the performance.) Education about music and an understanding of it is not “pretentiousness:” it’s genuine appreciation of what it’s all about.

  2. The problem isn’t a lack of applauding between movements, it’s too much enthusiastic applause regardless of whether or not the performance was any good. It’s difficult to tell much about the quality of a performance from the applause it generates.

    I’ll make you a deal. Let’s encourage clapping at random moments of greatness when we equally encourage boos and hisses for those that fall short of what we should expect. And for top tier orchestras with matching ticket prices, that’s a high standard indeed.

    This is what would indicate that the audience is truly engaged with the music.

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