Does This Violin Make Me Look Fat?

Can a passion for the perfect instrument become incapacitating? Holly Mulcahy examines the issue in her latest article at The Partial Observer, which serves as an excellent companion to the article Jason Heath just published over at Arts Addict about what string players go through to find the "perfect bow." On a related note, I’m pleased to announce that Holly’s column will become a permanent addition to the Inside The Arts lineup starting next week. Her column, Neo Classical, publishes a new article on the first Monday of every month. Thanks to Mark D. Johnson, The Partial Observer’s editor, for his willingness to share Holly with us. I regularly post links over to her articles each month so it made since to make her a permanent part of the cultural blogging exchange. In the meantime, you can find all of Holly’s articles here.

All in all, Holly’s column, along with Jason Heath’s Arts Addict and Frank Almond’s non divisi, should be at the top of the online reading list for every manager and board member out there. These three players provide a very different, yet enormously useful, glimpse into the world of professional orchestra players, the benefits of which I’m certain don’t need to be mentioned. After all, I know firsthand that a number of musicians who frequent this orchestra management blog gain a better understanding of what their managers and board members deal with on a day-to-day basis and the benefits have been very positive. So for all of you who aren’t already familiar with the daily realities of being a professional musician, take some time to check out the blogs authored by Holly, Jason, and Frank.

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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