ARTICLES OF THE WEEK: In search of excellence
ENTREPRENEURIAL THOUGHT OF THE WEEK: What happens in Vegas…
Some of you may remember the thoughts I shared last year after going to see Kelly Clarkson in concert. I was struck by how the show was put together, particularly in how the space was utilized and how lighting and video created an integrated, continuous experience. (If you’re interested in more, it was the March 21, 2012 issue.) Well, this weekend I took in another pop show, and I was struck by many of the same things in terms of unity and continuity; but I have something additional to share this time, too: multitasking.
The show was Shania Twain, opening a new run at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas. I would not have made this trip on my own, but our best friend from Pittsburgh days is a huge fan (the obsessive kind), and bought his tickets 18 months ago. Since we hadn’t been to Vegas before, we agreed to come along.
First of all, Vegas is a hoot. I could write about my new-found obsession with Blackjack, but that would take us off-topic. That said, while we’re talking about obsession…how many people would buy tickets to a classical concert 18 months in advance (and for a hefty price) and travel across the country to see it? If your answer to that is, “Not many!” I think it’s worth asking ourselves why that is, and what we might do to change that. But that, too, is not what I wanted to write about today.
What I wanted to share concerns the artists with whom Shania was performing. The total cast was about 20 people, some more prominent than others, and there wasn’t a single person on that stage who didn’t do multiple things: the backup singers were also instrumentalists (sometimes coming together to create an entire string orchestra); the keyboard player was also a percussionist and a killer harmonica player (at one point I experienced the highest note I’ve ever heard on a harmonica!). Her lead guitarist played a number of other stringed instruments and was also an incredible fiddle player. And her four main dancers were also back-up singers, members of the string orchestra, and percussionists (and in one occasion, dancing percussionists!). The thing that struck me was how valuable these performers were: they were not only excellent in their primary area (and each artist clearly had their “main thing”), they were also accomplished in a range of other things. This in turn allowed the designers of the show to do more sorts of things without blowing their budget by hiring lots of additional personnel. Here, art and economy came together through these extremely diverse performers.
The traditional rap against pursuing this approach professionally is that one ends up as a “jack of all trades, master of none.” That is, in an attempt to be all things one never really masters any of them. I think this is a false choice, however. If you’d seen these folks on stage Saturday night you would have never accused them of not being masters of their craft. But somewhere along in their training they made the decision to have more than one skill in their bag of tricks: they developed multiple skills simultaneously. I encourage you to think about this as you consider your own career plans, because multi-talented performers are going to become more and more valuable, and not just in the pop realm. The way concerts are being presented is changing, and performers with additional skills will have options to create opportunities for themselves that others will lack. I have a professional flute player friend who is also studying voice, and after some years of study is now getting paying gigs based solely on her multiple abilities. Some of you may know of musical theatre productions in which the instrumentalists are also characters on stage. It’s only a matter of time before more and more of this enters the classical realm as well. Personally I think these trends are good things: they will be part of a renaissance for classical music that I believe can be on the horizon – if we see to it, that is. Hopefully, in this case, what happens in Vegas won’t stay there.
Not already following us on Facebook? You should! Click here.
And without further adieu…
The Video of the Week!
Keep those videos coming…
This has made the rounds before, but I couldn’t resist a little holidaySchadenfreude…
The Entrepreneurship Center for Music • Jeffrey Nytch, DMA, Director
Email: email@example.com • Office Hours: T/Th: 9-11 a.m. W: 2-4 p.m. – or by appointment
Entrepreneurship Wednesdays: 5-6:30 p.m., C-113 • Follow us on Facebook
HAPPY HOLIDAYS, EVERYONE!
OPPORTUNITY UPBEAT! Dec. 11, 2012
The Opportunity UPBEAT! is your weekly listing of job postings and other professional opportunities that come the way of the ECM. Check this space out for jobs, volunteer opportunities, internships, grants, festival auditions, and more!
WESTWOODS CENTER FOR PERFORMNING ARTS is hiring voice and piano instructors to start in January. If interested, contact Shannon Wilson at firstname.lastname@example.org .
THE INSTITUTE OF READING DEVELOPMENT is seeking candidates for summer 2013 teaching positions. We seek applicants with an undergraduate degree or higher from any discipline. We provide a paid training program and comprehensive on-going support. Summer teaching positions with the Institute offer the opportunity to earn more than $6,000 during the summer; teachers typically earn between $500 and $700 per week while teaching. Gain over 500 hours of teacher-training and teaching experience with a variety of age groups and help students of all ages develop their reading skills and ability to become imaginatively absorbed in books. The Institute is an educational service provider that teaches developmental reading programs in partnership with the continuing education departments of more than 100 colleges and universities across the United States. Our classes for students of all ages improve their reading skills and teach them to experience absorption in literature. We hire people who:
We invite you to submit an online application and learn more about teaching for the Institute at our website: http://instituteofreadingdevelopmentteachingjobs.com/
LANDAU MUSIC is now hiring musicians to perform on cruise ships. Destinations include: Europe, Australia, Caribbean, Hawaii, etc. Free Room/Food/Travel. Production shows (Broadway, Pop Review), Headliner shows ,Top 40 sets , Jazz Combo sets, Big Band sets, and more. Our auditions are done online and we are seeking experienced musicians who are are: 1) Solid readers, 2) Proficient in all styles, and 3) Have a great attitude. Positions are currently available for the following instruments: Keys, Drums, Bass, Guitar, Trumpet, and Sax. For more information, contact Steve Such, Music Manager: email@example.com 858.755.3320,www.landaumusic.com
THE PHILADELPHIA INTERNATIONAL MUSIC FESTIVAL is now accepting applications for summer study with members of the Philadelphia Orchestra. For more information, visit their website: http://www.philadelphiamusicfestival.org/index.html
THE BANFF CENTER is accepting applications for their summer music program. Deadlines in January. Follow this link: http://www.banffcentre.ca/music/programs
THE SOUNDSCAPE FESTIVAL is accepting applications for its summer study and professional development seminar, June 30-July 13 in Maccagno, Italy. For more:http://soundscapefestival.org/
INTERNSHIPS AVAILABLE! The ECM offers a broad range of internship opportunities for students, ranging from positions with non-profit arts groups to for-profit businesses. Internships can be for academic credit or not, and can often be customized to suit your schedule and interests. If you’re interested, stop by the ECM office and we’ll talk about the options!