Empowerment Issues

There is a big push among orchestra administrators to get musicians more involved within the inner workings of their orchestras. Although this isn’t a new idea, it is becoming more relevant, as we can observe from recent speeches by two of my favorite industry barometers: Michael Kaiser and Henry Fogel. In Mr. Kaiser’s recent address to the annual ICSOM conference (you can learn about Mr. Kaiser and his address in an …

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More on Education: Observations from the north

Last April, our Canadian neighbors at Orchestra Canada established a program designed to identify common issues, challenges and successes among orchestras across Canada. All in all, it’s a very good report. I’m pleased by its candor at identifying the problems and deficiencies among its member orchestras. And unlike the type of “one-sided and guarded discussions [which] are contrary to learning” that fellow blogger Andrew Taylor mentions in one of current articles, …

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Bizarre Budgeting Part II: Accountability

Imagine John Smith: He earns $50,000 year He makes another $10,000 a year from stock dividends For the last 15 years he’s always received a raise He has a $275,000 mortgage He has $70,000 in auto loans He has a kid in college for at least another three years. He lives month to month He has two credit cards that are maxed out Three months out of the year he uses …

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Fixing What’s Broken: a response

In the October 2003 issue of Senza Sordino, an ICSOM newsletter, is a complete transcript of an address by Michael Kaiser to those in attendance at the annual ICSOM conference. For those who are unaware, Mr. Kaiser is the president of the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. and just about as big of a dog in this industry as one can become (and I mean big dog in a good way). …

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Salary Spin

“In order to attract quality administrators we need to offer them comparable salaries with their counterparts in the for-profit industry” I hear this all the time from industry experts, executive recruiters, and (most dangerously) board members. But frankly it’s just a bunch of spin. Well not entirely, but mostly. Here’s why it isn’t spin Board members are typically successful businesspersons that work in a for-profit industry and have learned to trust …

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