Following-Up At Eugene

The Eugene Symphony performed its regularly scheduled concert last evening in honor of Kjersten Oquist and Angela Svendsen, who passed away earlier this week when their car was struck by a drunk driver…

Oregon Symphony assistant principal violist, Charles Noble, set up a wonderful page where friends and colleagues could post their memories and pictures of Kjersten and Angela. There are dozens of posts so far and many more sure to come, you can find the page at

Meanwhile, the Eugene symphony sent out the following press release in advance of last evening’s concert:

EUGENE– To honor orchestra members Kjersten Oquist and Angela Svendsen, who died tragically this week, the Eugene Symphony will perform its regularly scheduled concert with Sir James and Lady Jeanne Galway this Thursday, February 15, 2007, 8 p.m.

“Going forward with Thursday’s performance is the right thing to do,” said board president Mary Ann Hanson. “Music will speak to us through our grief and provide the solace we all need at this time.”

All auxiliary activities, including a free concert preview at noon at the Hult Center tomorrow and a free master class with Sir James Galway at Beall Hall on Wednesday at 4 p.m. will continue as planned.

The evening’s concert program will be altered to include Variation No. 9 from Edward Elgar’s Enigma Variations in honor of Kjersten and Angela. Additional information about memorial services and memorial funds will be forthcoming.

Orchestra committee chair and member of the first violin section, Lisa Bieber said, “The most healing thing we can do at this time is to make music together.”

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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