The Man Knows How To Write A Catchy Headline

Even though Adaptistration is coming up on its ten year anniversary, one of the more vexing tasks is writing concise headlines that are both catchy and descriptive; oh, to be as clever as the Daily Show writers. But one man who never seems to have trouble writing headlines in Norm Lebrecht and he published this one yesterday: Concertmaster blows, shows the trombone how it’s done.


His post features Neo Classical author, Holly Mulcahy, who is also be the new concertmaster for the Chattanooga Symphony & Opera along with a member of the Grand Teton Music Festival (GTMF) violin section.

Just like all of the wildly talented and multifaceted authors at Inside The Arts, she has a few hidden talents; one of which is the feature of Lebrecht’s post and as he puts it, “Holly is a secret trombone blower. And she ain’t that bad.”

Mulcahy has a half dozen YouTube videos of her playing excerpts from the standard trombone repertoire, and cumulatively, they have more than 200,000 hits and over 1000 comments (you can find the highlights in Lebrecht’s post).

It’s all good tongue-in-cheek fun* and if you’re up on the who’s who of orchestra musicians, you’ll notice more than a few high profile faces in some of her videos (including one with her brother and National Symphony Orchestra principal trombone, Criag Mulcahy).

And speaking of the GTMF, if you’re in Jackson Hole tonight, Mulcahy is a featured performer on tonight’s Musicians’ Choice chamber series performing Saint-Saens’ Piano Trio No. 1 in F Major, Op. 18 along with fellow GTMF musicians Scott Holshouser, piano; and Karen Freer, cello. Yes, Mulcahy will be playing the violin.

But how about some other hidden talents out there in the field, on stage and in the office? Post a comment and give up what you know.

*If you have some time to spare, check out the YouTube comments (especially this thread), some of which are from folks that don’t get the gag are downright priceless.

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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