This Is What TAFTO Is All About

In case you didn’t catch the link from the Arts Journal Music News headlines, there is an article written by Charles Downey, the staff critic at, which demonstrates just how much impact one concert-goer can have on enhancing classical music’s future…

Of particular interest is the portion written by Charles’ friend and sports writer, Jeff Beam. I won’t spoil the entire article because you really owe it to yourself to give it a read but here’s one of my favorite parts attributed to Jeff:

It’s not that I dislike classical music – I don’t at all. I’ve been to more than a few symphonies. I was just tired. And perhaps, just a little bit, I was intimidated by the fact that an aficionado like Charles would be enjoying the concerto at such a sophisticated level while I tried to recall the differences between the viola and the violin.

So what are you still doing here? Go. Read. Share. Enjoy.


Additionally, The Diagram, an electronic journal of text and art, was so enthralled with one of TAFTO contributor Bill Harris‘ diagrams that they published it in their recent journal.

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 “This Is What TAFTO Is All About”

  1. Hi Drew–Jim Palermo wrote about this subject yesterday on his blog at He added a few comments of his own–interesting point about “Thursday being the new Friday” as I’ve noticed that whenever we’re on a job that gives away comps, it’s usually the Friday evening performance that is offered. I’ve always chuckled at the front row of the opera house as the patrons who have put in a long workweek fall asleep (and sometimes snore audibly) as their significant other nudges them to wake up and pay attention. Our Friday “rush hour” series at Grant Park (initiated by Jim several years ago) is extremely well attended–and the CSO Friday matinee series is popular too. Maybe it’s time to take a jock to a Friday matinee…?

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