Take A Friend To The Grant Park Orchestra Act 2

Tonight is the second of two Take a Friend to the Orchestra (TAFTO) concerts at Chicago’s Grant Park Music Festival. Today’s event features a pre-concert CoffeeTalk discussion starting at 6:15PM CT (concert begins at 7:30PM) and located at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion Choral Hall on the east side of the Pavilion. The pre-concert event (not to mention the concert) is free and open to all so join Artistic and General Director James Palermo (2007 TAFTO contributor), music director Carlos Kalamar (2008 TAFTO contributor), and me for free coffee and interesting conversation in an inclusive, friendly environment.

gpmf-tafto-2008If you’re wondering how the first “Take a Friend” unfolded, the Chicago Sun-Times published an article in their 6/20/2008 edition by Bryant Manning. In the article, Bryant demonstrates that he sincerely “get’s it” when it comes to what TAFTO is all about. I took a few pics of the first concert event, which are located in a photo album below.

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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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1 thought on “Take A Friend To The Grant Park Orchestra Act 2”

  1. Hi Drew–

    The concerts were an amazing success–we brought two people who had never gone and they are now “sold” and plan to attend many more. Not only did they love the music, they also enjoyed the conductor’s comments, which were appropriately short and sweet. (Didn’t Holly write an article about conductors who “drone” on and on…?) TAFTO is a brilliant idea, congratulations!

    That’s great news, I’m glad your friends had a wonderful time. I ran into one of the folks who worked on the park’s fantastic amplification/enhancement system and she brought a part of friends to the concert as well. I stayed with them for the first few selections before I had to head home and get some deadline work finished but I so wanted to stay for the whole concert (it simply couldn’t have been a more beautiful evening). I’ll be posting some more pics from the event and some observations a little later this morning. ~ Drew McManus

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