Musician Videos As Outreach

Just a quick pointer today; I’ve taken then weekend off and although I’m keeping my ear to the ground for Met news, don’t expect anything here until Tuesday or Wednesday. In the meantime, check out the 8/15/2014 edition of The Wall Street Journal which published an article by Corinne Ramey that examines an outreach effort by Mostly Mozart in the form of promotional videos about their musicians.

videoIt’s a good article and any effort to help break down stereotypes and connect audience members and musicians is a good idea. Ramey includes some insight from me about potential bear traps, one of which is overemphasizing personal traits without building a bridge to musicianship.

I recall a similar effort by the now defunct Honolulu Symphony that did a wonderful job at projecting musician hobbies and interests, so much so that it inadvertently reinforced a stereotype that musicians perform as either volunteers or a second, less important, career.

Definitely food for thought and Ramey’s article does an excellent job at getting you thinking about the topic and taking a broader perspective.

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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