Coffee, Tea, Or Verdi?

Violinist Holly Mulcahy published a warm & fuzzy style post on 5/12/2013 about a recent experience where she struck up a conversation with a fellow airline passenger and orchestra concert newbie that ultimately ended in him buying tickets for a pair of Grand Teton Music Festival (GTMF) at 30,000 feet courtesy of Wi-Fi. Apparently, the conversation progressed from food to farming, to flying, to Seal Tem 6, to Django Unchained; and the last item was all Mulcahy needed to get a foot in the door.
Adaptistration Pilot

This fellow passenger and I probably would not find ourselves in the same social circles in everyday life. He’s a former military pilot, self proclaimed old fashioned Southerner, and a hunter during his days off. It would have been extremely easy to look at our differences and go back to my book, but instead we found a couple common grounds and he found that he indeed liked classical music.

I love selling my art and I believe that most people really do like classical music; they just don’t realize they already like it. Thanks to the movies like Django Unchained that use classical music, the books that mention classical music (the most recent is 50 Shades of Grey!), and to orchestral shows like Bugs Bunny at the Symphony, many people are exposed to classical music and find they love it.

It just takes the right reminder that classical music is wildly amazing, familiar, and enjoyable.

Mulcahy’s post reminded me of Scott Silberstein’s excellent Take A Friend To The Orchestra contribution last month and the dozens of similar stories I’ve heard from friends and colleagues over the years.

How about you, what’s your 30,000 feet story?

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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