How Cool Is This?

Now this is something you genuinely don’t see every day; Kayoko Dan, Chattanooga Symphony & Opera (CSO) Music Director, is donating her hair (no, that’s not a typo) to Locks of Love and will let CSO patrons select her post-cut hair style.

According to the CSO Facebook page, Dan donates her hair every two years and this time around will be her third time. Voting for one of four options can be done via leaving a comment at the respective CSO wall post and is apparently open to all.

Now if there was only a way to nominate other conductors to become donors…

CSO Kayoko Dan Locks Of Love Donation

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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7 thoughts on “How Cool Is This?”

  1. As I applaud Ms. Dan for a fantastic idea, I would like to encourage you, Mr.McMahon, to call on the orchestras to report about other conductors’ donations…instead of this somewhat woeful message at the the end of your post. I would hope that you get many wonderful replies.
    Unless this is just a “come on you people” plea, in which case I withdraw my objection.
    Your fan and faithful reader,
    Marina Liadova

    • I certainly don’t intend to create any sort of donation benchmark for conductors (or any orchestra employee), I know many who give anonymously to their own institutions and other worthy charities but rest assured, my final sentence is more of a light-hearted jab at the long hair trend among conductors; very few of which seem to successfully pull it off.

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