Killing Off The Audience?

Just a few pointers today centered around the same theme. First, conductor Bill Eddins is in full rant mode in his post How To Make Sure We Don’t Have An Audience in 20 years – Part The First where he levels his ire on the practice of closed rehearsals. This reminded me of an entire series of posts by Holly Mulcahy entitled How To Alienate Your Audience in 10 Easy Steps. Installments examine how each stakeholder group shares the blame: music directors, musicians, managers, and patrons. With all this irritation, you’d think something has got to give.

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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