We Covered All the Topics

Last Sunday, I had the pleasure of being a guest on Silence of the Tacets, when trombone players have time on their hands, a video podcast hosted by Vancouver Symphony Principal Trombone, Brian Wendel, and Vancouver Symphony Principal Bass Trombone, Ilan Morgenstern.

It was a great conversation with a solid stretch of time to cover a wide range of topics.

It’s always engaging to chat with professional musicians who are interested in and/or involved with administration or musician governance. There’s quite different vibe when talking arts admin shop in that context as compared to sitting around with other admins. In a lot of ways, it’s easier to be more straightforward thanks to removing some of the political landmines that accompany the other environment.

Both hosts deserve huge props for coming up with one of the absolute best lists of questions I’ve seen for a podcast. If you’re looking for a conversation that isn’t afraid to take a big bite into some of the more meaty topics right now, this is it.

What’s more, the entire show was recorded live and took several viewer questions. You can watch the streaming version at Facebook or with the player below.

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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