Off To Chattanooga

I’m en route to Chattanooga today to attend a concert on Thursday, 3/2/2017 of my wife, violinist Holly Mulcahy, performing Jim Stephenson’s Tributes violin concerto with the Chattanooga Symphony.

It’s a fabulous work that was premiered in 2012 by Jennifer Frautschi with the Minnesota Orchestra. This will be the concerto’s second performance and Holly gave an invite-only sneak peek of the piano reduction version of the work here in Chicago with pianist Tim Hink about a month ago for an audience of 45.  A few weeks later, the duo performed excerpts from the work at a pair of events at one of Chattanooga’s fashionable wine bars, the Chattanooga Tasting Club.

Holly wrote an article for her blog, Neo Classical, about what makes the work special and regardless if you’re planning to attend, it’s worth the read if for no other reason than leaning the story behind the concerto’s amazing second movement.

If you live in the area (Atlanta, Nashville and Birmingham are only 1h 45 min to 2h away by car), you should get a ticket to experience the concerto first-hand and if you can set aside the time, get there early for Jim Stephenson’s pre-concert talk and the after concert event to meet Holly, Jim and a number of the CSO’s musicians…and be sure to reach out and say hello!

Stephenson Tributes Concerto Holly Mulcahy Soloist

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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