Day Off

It is rare to take a day off but today is a special exception thanks to spending an entire day building up to my wife, violinist Holly Mulcahy, performing Jennifer Higdon’s Violin Concerto with the Chattanooga Symphony & Opera. 

It was a fantastic performance with the orcheatra and music director Kayoko Dan rising to the challenge on such a demanding piece. 

Having Ms. Higdon in town all week to work with the orchestra and and numerous outreach activities was a genuine treat. She is, without any doubt, one of the most grounded, charming, and delightful composers I’ve had he pleasure to meet.

There is so much more to write about, not the least of which were all the wonderful colleagues and friends who showed up from as far away as San Francisco, but it will have to wait until another day. 

Untill then, you can read a review of the concert by Mel Wilhoit for the 3/13/15 edition of the Chattanooga Times Free Press.

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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1 thought on “Day Off

  1. Great way to celebrate Women’s History Month…woman conductor, composer and concertmaster…seems as though a little history was made last night!

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