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Hi, I’m Drew McManus. The Orchestra Insider.

“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 20 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, manage a site for arts managers to sharpen their skills, keep track of what people in this business get paid, help write a satirical cartoon about orchestra life, and love a good coffee drink.

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Services For Artists & Entrepreneurs

Whether you are a soloist, chamber ensemble, composer, conductor, academic, private teacher, or orchestra musician, there is a great deal about the business your formal training didn’t prepare you for. Mr. McManus can help mitigate that educational shortcoming by providing a wide range of services to help you advance your career and maximize your potential without having to learn lessons the hard (and expensive) way.

Some of the most common services include:

  • Negotiating performance, recording, and/or employment contracts.
  • Website design and maintenance.
  • Creating an effective branding, public relations, and social networking campaign.
  • Career counsel.
  • Crafting a business plan.
  • Entrepreneurship mentoring.
  • Learning the proper way to establish a professional private teaching studio, attract students, and develop a related business policy.
  • Learning about the legal and financial realities of being self-employed.
  • Negotiating overscale (direct negotiation services and/or negotiation preparation).

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individual artists

Services For Boards and Trustees

As a dedicated and knowledgeable guide, Mr. McManus facilitates your board to think creatively and find solutions to the unique problems facing today’s orchestras. Contact Mr. McManus to see how he can help your organization with any of the following areas:

  • Strategic planning
  • Board development
  • Executive search
  • Executive evaluation & review
  • Labor mediation
  • Negotiation counsel
  • Board recruitment
  • Committee organization

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Services for Managers and Administrators

Drew McManus can help your organization reach new levels of efficiency and effectiveness in every aspect of administrative operations. Here are but a few of his specialties:

  • Learning to lead from the front
  • Administrative capacity audit
  • Risk return analysis
  • Labor relations
  • Web/ticketing/CRM design and analysis
  • Improving marketing performance
  • Avoiding arbitration
  • Maximizing workplace satisfaction

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 managers

The Venture Platform

Serving as a divisional designation of Drew McManus LLC, The Venture Platform was launched in 2010 and has become one of the leading providers of integrated web and e-mail marketing solutions. With unmatched support alongside supreme quality and value, we’re opening up a whole new world for the way arts orgs improve marketing performance and build durable relationships with their community.

  • Design and development
  • Incredible support
  • Unlimited training
  • Power and ease of use
  • Supreme quality and value
  • Complementary

Visit the Venture Platform Website

Counting The Costs

The December, 2011 edition of The Strad Magazine featured a cover article written by Mr. McManus that documents the lifetime costs of string instrument ownership. Featuring exclusive and exhaustive research, the article article demonstrates the depth of understanding needed to understand this business’ complex and dynamic expense structures. As an artist in need of overscale counsel or an employer interested in establishing  competitive but fair compensation, put Mr. McManus; knowledge to work  for you.

cost of ownership

Word on the street…

Orchestra Consulting

Orchestra Consulting