Sticks and Drones: A New Adaptistration Blog


There’s excitement in the air as today marks the launch of the first of several new blogs here at Adaptistration. Sticks and Drones is all about the world of classical music from the perspective of two conductors, Bill Eddins and Ron Spigelman. If you are hoping the blog will be chocked full of filler such as discussions about whether or not Stokowski’s orchestration of Pictures at an Exhibition is superior to Ravel’s edition and the advances in graphite baton design, you might be disappointed.

Instead, Sticks and Drones is all about providing a public forum for two very insightful musicians who live and work in classical music’s trenches. With the comment throttle thrown wide open, they’ll examine where classical music is, where it needs to go, and the challenges along the way. In due course, Sticks and Drones is the first addition to a growing three-way mirror of cultural conversation designed to provide a comprehensive view on the field of performing arts (more on that at a later date)…

Regular Adaptistration readers will likely recognize Bill’s name from his wildly popular contribution to the 2005 Take A Friend To Orchestra initiative along with his series of inventive podcasts, Classical Connections, from 2005 and 2006. Always thinking, always entertaining, and his no-maestro-zone attitude makes Bill an obvious choice for authoring a cultural blog. Just think of Bill as your high-octane guide on a rocket powered ride through, around, over, and beneath the world of classical music.

Likewise, Ron has been a regular commenter at several well traveled cultural blogs and having read all of his perspectives, asking him to author a blog was a no-brainer. In fact, he’s one of only a handful of educators at the university level who regularly incorporates online material into his regular class work.

Case in point, Ron recently had his students engage a relevant topic via an article on adult education programs at orchestras. What ensued was an excellent example of how a contemporary tool such as blogging can be used to enhance traditional educational efforts in very creative ways. As such, it is going to be exciting to see how Ron will be able to develop the blogging platform in similar fashion now that he is authoring his own blog.

Ultimately, this new blogging endeavor, along with all of the new blogs and columns, will evolve into whatever its authors and readers desire. As for Sticks and Drones, who knows where it will end up but I’m certain the trip will be one hell of ride.

So what are you still doing here? Go check out Sticks and Drones!

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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