Appearing On This Sunday

If I only had a time machine. The crew over at has created what I wanted to put together years ago but the technology just wasn’t there to make it quick and simple. Specifically, they have a weekly video podcast program that focuses on discussing new music and music news. The shows are produced with clear audio in a well lit room and they can even bring in remote guests via Skype…

And that’s exactly what I’ll be doing on Sunday: Skyping from the comfort of my office. Having watched several episodes, it looks like the show takes place in a recording studio. At least, that’s what I assume given the quantity of analog and digital recording gear being used. There are multiple camera angles and the four man crew certainly project a degree of second nature techno chic, with MacBooks and other laptops strewn about. The only thing missing from the scene are jumbo cappuccinos.

But I kid.

Over the past several weeks, the show’s hosts (composers Patrick Gullo, David MacDonald, Sam Merciers, and Nate Bliton) have been discussing the seemingly endless stream of events unfolding each week at the Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) and it has been fun watching them wade through the issues.

What makes the show entertaining is since these guys are composers and amidst various pursuits of advanced degrees, there’s a certain level of innocent detachment that makes it feel perfectly comfortable for them to stomp around though some of the tender issues that can really set off some folks in the business.

And who doesn’t love that? It’s a great learning environment and I’m looking forward to doing the show. I believe we record on Sunday morning, 3/13/2011, and the program should be up at their,, later in the day.

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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