Crowdsourcing Mask Knowledge

In a perfect world, musicians would have ample time to try a variety of face masks in order to find options that provide maximum safety and comfort. Having said that, things are far from perfect and the cost of buying a few dozen masks is an expense most musicians aren’t in a position to absorb. Consequently, it’s been fascinating watching musicians connect across social media to share experiences. For example, this …

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Why Are Conductors Exempt From Wearing Masks Onstage?

If you’ve been watching any of the early efforts from orchestras experimenting with socially distanced concerts, you’ve probably noticed that on-stage musicians are wearing masks, even wind players when they aren’t actively playing. In the handful of indoor events, audience members are wearing masks as well. So why are some conductors going without masks or walking out wearing a mask, but removing it while conducting? Holly Mulcahy was wondering the same …

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The Difference Between Per-Service and Salary-Based Musicians

Following yesterday’s article that referenced per-service and salary-based musician employment, a number of readers reached out asking about the difference. To that end, I’m certainly guilty of assuming too much from time to time and this is decidedly one of those issues that can be very confusing if you aren’t already familiar with the distinction. What’s A Service? Within the context of professional orchestras, a service typically consists of one rehearsal …

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Upcoming Stress Tests For Musician Governance

“Never let a good crisis go to waste” is one of those quotes that comes as a razor-sharp double-edged sword. It’s been crossing my mind as of late with regard to some of the larger challenges orchestra musicians are likely to face in Covid era negotiations. First off, there are going to be no shortage of legitimate reasons why budgets will be stressed but history is full of examples where executive …

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We are awash in a sea of self-produced content, and that’s a good thing. At the same time, there’s no denying that musicians who aren’t accustomed to this format are discovering that getting a quality audio track takes more than having a good microphone. And I certainly shouldn’t say this is a lesson only musicians are learning, plenty of arts admins are learning the same lesson as they navigate the same …

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