Sunday, April 29, 2007

I was just doing my job...

Today, I received one of the highest honors I could get. For serving for the past four years as Chapter Advisor for the Gamma Beta (Cincinnati) Chapter of Phi Kappa Tau, I received the Key Award. I started out as an advisor to meet people in Cincinnati within a safe environment, in addition to being able to give a little bit back to a group that I did not think I gave back to enough while in undergrad.

Over the past four years, I have made several great friendship, experienced a very different type of college fraternity lifestyle and seen several individual mature from freshmen into men.

I could not have been prouder of the chapter I have served, and the fraternity I joined. This was an honor that while extremely unexpected was extremely humbling.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Outside the box

Today, while driving back from working out, I heard a piece of classical music that was refreshing, fun, exciting and new to me. I really just obsessed over it, downloading it from iTunes when I got home, Goggling the composer, etc.

The piece - Escualo by Astor Piazzolla, the Argentinian tango composer.

The twist - arrangment for orchestra and solo trumpet, performed by Alison Balsom.

It was a fabulous musical discovery. I love to come across gems like this. Thank you WGUC.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Onward, research!

I meet today with Dean Lowry of CCM. He assured me that I will have my research on the music student enrollment and graduation rates over the last twenty-five years before I head off to Aspen and the rest of the Fellowship year. While it has been difficult waiting for nine month for this data, it is just part of the game. Chasing down the research, forging through the unexplored forest. I just wish I could start hacking away now.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

A Champagne Toast!

I can finally share the results of the ASOL interview weekend with the world:

I am an Fellow for the 2007-2008 Orchestra Management Fellowship Program.

For more information, you can click here.

I am extremely pleased with the group that was selected.

I worked with Ashleigh in our small group interview sessions, and was extremely pleased when I was working with her. She is sharp and very passionate about the work she does. Emma and I have a connection through a mutual friend, in addition to us both working for the E'ville Philharmonic. I admire Martin for deciding to cross the line from musician to management and I look forward to hearing his perspectives on the issues that are facing the orchestra field. Finally, Carolyn's wonderful upbeat outlook will be a breathe of fresh air during the next year.

For now, I just want to celebrate an honor that I have been looking forward to receiving for over three years.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Much Appreciated Guidance

After about 4 weeks of disconnect, I finally was able to meet up with Mr. George Seltzer. A past professor of Miami University, player with the Dayton and Rochester Orchestras and author of several books dealing with the union and educational management issues in the field. He has written several articles dealing with the supply and demand problem of orchestras. He used the same types of estimation methods I am now using.

I wanted to talk to him to not only use his connections to get some additional data, but to talk to him about why he got started in this line of research.

We met in a quaint Chinese restaurant in Miami, Ohio. We both had copies of the others articles and papers, so we knew each other by the bulky stacks of paper under each arm. We talked about our various musical background and interests, and then launched into an hour long discussion about supply and demand. He was fascinated with my research, and that I had picked up where he left of without even meaning too. I was humbled that this professor and researcher held me in such high regard, but this is just one thing that I have been working to overcome. Humble is good, but as potential leader in the orchestra field, I have to appear proud and accepting of compliments.

Mr. Seltzer ended the conversation by providing me a new direction to take my paper: how music schools and conservatories can better prepare the next generation of musicians. They should not only be concerned with the musicians in training but with those individuals who were musical before college. They will provide the perfect future fan base for orchestras, but in this day and age when music programs in our schools are fading from memory, it may be up the colleges and universities to use music students to outreach to the student population.

A wonderful proposition that I may have to revisit once I have all of the data analyzed.

Monday, April 09, 2007

And the results are in...

After several days of working and reworking several Excel formulas, I finally was able to put together a master spreadsheet that dynamically updates when one of the individuals sheets are updated. For computer laymen, this means that I can easily develop models and statistics from one spreadsheet without having to do a lot of messy formatting.

The first model I was able to develop was a demand curve, combing all 67 orchestras I am using as my base. The results were surprising. The model that emerged mirrored my previous predictions. This is important because my previous model was based on a statistical progression based on 12 data points. I am thrilled at this revelation, and now I am extremely curious to collect more information to feed into my model.

Friday, April 06, 2007

The Final Stages

With today being Good Friday, and since the Ballet gave me a day off, I decided to complete my research of the all the International Musicians available at Blegen Library. Over the course of three hours, I was able to not only input the final year into my spreadsheet, but also verify that I collected all the data from the outlying orchestras (smaller ones that I may have passed over).

Now, having complete the final calculations, I can now begin to put together the first model of demand data. It is going to be an exciting, Excel-formula filled weekend. Let the party start now!