Cleveland In Nashville

On Monday, January 15, 2007 the Cleveland Orchestra will be traveling to Nashville to perform in the new Schermerhorn Symphony Center…


I’m excited to say that I’ll be in town that day to attend that evening’s concert as this will be a benchmark event for the new concert hall. I’m anxious to hear how Cleveland will adjust to the new hall and how the hall will impact the way Cleveland sounds.

Due to their travel schedule, Cleveland is only going to have enough time to conduct a sound check as opposed to a full blown rehearsal and based on my initial impressions of how the hall responded to the musicians on stage during the gala opening events last September, it will be fascinating to experience how the Cleveland musicians adjust.

This concert should serve as a concrete benchmark for the orchestra’s stakeholders. Essentially, this concert facility was created to give the musicians everything they need to become the great ensemble the organization feels it can become. In effect, they are giving the organization every opportunity to reach its full potential.

Having an organization like Cleveland come through for a performance should provide patrons, musicians, managers, and board members a glimpse of what an ensemble with decades of history playing at a top-tier level will sound like. As such, they’ll be able to use this concert experience to help gauge and inspire their continued anticipated progress.

All in all, bringing the Cleveland Orchestra in for a performance is a superb idea and barring any unavoidable snags, the concert should be a worthwhile experience.

I’ll also have some time to tour through some components of the center that I missed on my initial trip so you can look forward to learning a little more about the Schermerhorn Symphony Center after I return.

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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