TAFTO 2007 Is Just Around The Corner

Mark your calendars as April will be Take A Friend To Orchestra month…

Back for its third year, the Take A Friend To Orchestra (TAFTO) program will feature several of the most entertaining, insightful, and clever critics, bloggers, musicians, administrators, and patrons as they write about how average patrons throughout the country can invite friends who don’t regularly participate in live music events to one of your performances.

New for 2007 is a special Take A Friend To Orchestra Opera component as well as a very special contribution that will demonstrate just how much impact a program like TAFTO can have on building tomorrow’s audience. There are more than a dozen contributors so far and further individuals are being finalized; in the meantime, here is a list of hints as to who you can expect to see this year…

  • …a lyrical manager of media relations
  • …a composer advocate and editor for a highly successful online new music journal
  • …the general director for the most accessible music festival in the world
  • …the three bassists
  • … an executive vice president and managing director for one of the largest orchestral service organizations in the U.S.
  • …the general director for a howling good opera company
  • …managing, general, and executive directors aplenty
  • …an expert in converting the hopelessly complex into easy to swallow bite-size pieces
  • …and a lawyer thrown in for good measure

  • Once all of the contributors have been confirmed, I’ll release the complete list of names. In the meantime, let the speculation begin!

    If you want to get into the spirit of things before April, you can visit the TAFTO initiatives from 2005 and 2006. You can also purchase a paperback collection of every TAFTO essay to date in the Take a Friend to the Orchestra – Second Edition book.

    ATTENTION ORCHESTRAS & OPERA COMPANIES: If you want to put together a special TAFTO related promotion for your organization and have it featured at Adaptistration, just let me know.

    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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