Please Don’t Bait The Composers…Okay, Maybe Just A Little

It started with an innocent Facebook post from composer Jim Stephenson who was wondering if composers of old would have made it in today’s environment and evolved into a trending hashtag on Twitter.

An honest question for you all:Would the music of so many long-ago greats have survived if they knew that they only had 10 seconds to impress via audio/video recording?

Posted by Jim Stephenson on Monday, April 17, 2017

It’s a great discussion thread, worthy of a blog topic in and of itself, but long story short, the discussion turned toward how much composers have to do just to get attention and that was ultimately turned into the hashtag #ClickBaitASymphony by violinist Holly Mulcahy (who performed Stephenson’s violin concerto this season) and arts marketing guru Ceci Dadisman.

Here are some of my favs (at the time this was written):

And you can follow the entire hashtag here:


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But really, you’ll have the most fun by playing along. So what are you waiting for?

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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