David MacDonald

Professor music theory, composition, and technology at Wichita State University
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David MacDonald is an award-winning composer and teacher whose music has been performed around the world, and thanks to the pandemic, also on the Internet. He teaches music theory, composition, and technology at Wichita State University, where he also directs the new music ensemble Happening Now. He is also a frequent contributor to Scoring Notes on topics related to contemporary music notation and iPad music tools, as well as cohost of the Scoring Notes Podcast. Recent projects include a chamber work for remote, socially distanced performance over Zoom, and a game score for the Apple Arcade launch title Possessions.

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.