Unique Snowflake of Fights

Last Sunday’s SoundNotion.tv program was a great deal of fun; as always, thanks to show co-hosts David, Patrick, and Tim for inviting me along for the fun. If you’re new to SoundNotion, the program is a weekly live video podcast on classical music news, discussion, analysis, and interviews with composers, performers, bloggers, and arts professionals. This installment covered a number of topics, but the primary thrust focused on the orchestra field, labor disputes, and where composers fit into the future.

ITA-GUY-105One of the high points from my perspective was taking the time to distinguish the variety of labor disputes that have rocked the field and why they have a lot less to do with one another than conventional wisdom might dictate.

All in all, the guys always bring a great discussion to the table and it has been a genuine pleasure to see them thrive and develop over the past two and half years. The production quality has become so genuinely terrific that they even have what is perhaps the most adorable “technical difficulties” bumper I’ve ever seen.

And just like any good Marvel Comics movie, don’t forget to watch past the end credits.

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 “Unique Snowflake of Fights

  1. Nice show! Everyone gets upset when disputes don’t get worked out, yet when you speak of the connection musicians have with the patrons, I think that outside of the performance, the patrons can do a bit to learn more of the orchestras themselves. Granted, that’s more of an exception, but if I can do a little bit – either through word of mouth advertising of a great concert, or occasionally writing about music on a personal blog from time to time – then, in a small way, it will help ensure the orchestra’s continued existence. If the orchestra continues to perform, then I’ll continue to have a place to go for live music. It’s oddly self-serving in that regard.

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