Orchestra Compensation Reports Haikus

Most of us aren’t poets but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t stretch our creative legs every now and then by writing some prose. And with the task of sifting through 65 orchestra IRS form 990s to extract data for June’s orchestra compensation reports at hand, it seemed fitting to revel in a bit of creativity by way of compensation report haikus before disappearing into the quantitative data mines.

Buried deep in files.
Compensation lies naked.
Patience is no fun.

Data hides treasures.
Knowledge, it is powerful.
Recompense revealed.

Anxious for June facts.
Patience, it is a virtue.
Drew toils at his task.

Empty wells of facts.
Will compensation go up?
June shall quench our thirsts.

Clamoring readers.
Servers prepare for traffic.
Glad that bill is paid.

So many figures.
Open data would be nice.
Till then, copy/paste.

Salary. CHA-CHING!
Averages go up. CHA-CHING!
Recessions be damned.

Income reported.
Lies, damned lies, and statistics.
Tip of the iceberg.

And one from the orchestra CFO’s perspective…

Our filing is late.
It got shredded by mistake.
Such calamity.

Care to try your hand at an orchestra compensation report haiku?

If so, be sure to post it as a comment or on Twitter using @Adaptistration and/or #CompensationHaiku.

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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