Recently, I read an essay by Nancy Fako that recounted her experiences as one of the early women to win a position in the Boys Club brass sections of 1960 era large budget orchestras.
It’s a great essay (something I hope will be published here soon) but it made me wonder about similar women musicians who earned positions during that era and braved the gauntlet of sexism and discrimination.
I posted that exact query to my Facebook wall and the responses have been fabulous. Here are a handful of the terrific replies (so far) along with the parent post:
I just finished reading an essay by Nancy Fako about her experiences as one of the early women brass musicians to…
Drew McManus on Monday, September 17, 2018
If you know of someone who should be included in the thread, drop by and share.
And be sure to stop by the International Women’s Brass Conference website: myiwbc.org. 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. View all posts by Drew McManus | Website
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