People Destroying America: Lynn Harrell

Following last week’s discussion about not-so-great satire, today’s post is all about some brilliant satire from the Colbert Report that brings up the feud between Delta Airlines and cellist Lynn Harrell where the former cancelled all miles for the latter’s instrument and personal frequent flyer account. Harrell detailed the events in a blog post back in December, 2012.

The Colbert Report segment is just brilliant; witty, well edited, and yes it even adds some adult themes into the discussion without relying on a ham-handed approach. At the time this post was written, the segment has over 1,500 Face book shares and the 7:05 is worth every second, so sit back and enjoy some cutting edge classical music related satire.

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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