Brassball SmackDown

Admittedly, it was a mystery to me which teams were even in this year’s World Series until the wonderfully entertaining video from the respective brass sections at the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra (SLSO) and Boston Symphony Orchestra (BSO) went live on 10/22/2014. The clever bit is the brainchild of SLSO Principal Trumpet Karin Bliznik and BSO Fourth/Utility Trumpet Michael Martin.

I asked Martin about what went into making the video and he said everything was put together at breakneck speed.

“This was a truly enjoyable project to be a part of. I had the idea Sunday evening and by late (very late if I’m being honest!) Tuesday night the 50 or so clips had been compiled into one video,” said Martin. “A huge thank you to Karin Bliznik and our incredible friends in the SLSO. This was truly a team effort on both sides! Sox in 7”

Adaptistration Guy BaseballThe BSO surprise guest was a fun addition and they get another nod for going the extra mile by committing to the bit with Red Sox jerseys. And where’s David Robertson? According to Bliznik, there’s a story behind that.

“Well, shortly before the video was being recorded Mike [Martin] texted ‘So Seiji I think is going to conduct us…is Robertson in town?’ My reply ‘oh, so you guys need to be conducted?’ It worked out well because the ever so witty Steven Jarvi was in town, who really nailed his part of the trash talk.”

I also wonder which team BSO trombonist Stephen Lange is rooting for since before he went to the BSO in 2010, he was the SLSO Assistant Principal Trombone for ten years.

Let’s have some fun and keep the rivalry going.

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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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