Archive for the ‘The Leadership Struggle’ Category

Performance Wrap Up – Bass Festivals

Saturday, March 14th, 2015

In January and February, we performed at two local bass festivals: at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater on January 10, and the Chicago Bass Festival (held in Highland Park at the Ravinia Festival grounds) on February 1.

UW-W Bass Fest

The drive to get to Whitewater, Wisconsin from Chicago is long. I got a ride there from Julian, and his tax filing for 2015 will show this gig as responsible for 200+ miles that day. And it was really, really cold! But don’t get me wrong, I love playing this festival (as I love any playing). It’s small, but Bradley Townsend is dedicated to getting young bassists in Whitewater and the surrounding areas the exposure to players and techniques.

I had originally planned to have the group play Frank Proto’s 1964 Quartet at both festivals. But a last-minute personnel change scuttled that plan. And I think that Bradley was a bit disappointed that we didn’t bring that challenging piece to his audience. Nonetheless, we were well-received. And we’ll revive that challenge for next year!

My friend Matt Erion made a recording of the performance for us, but I’ll be honest I haven’t listened to it, and probably won’t for some time until I stumble across it one day attempting to declutter my computer.

Chicago Bass Festival

I brought some better recording equipment to the Chicago Bass Festival, and I have listened to that recording a few times now.

The MYA van getting snowed in at #BassFestBlizzard

The MYA van getting snowed in at #BassFestBlizzard

First, that was quite a day! It had snowed Saturday night, and was still snowing Sunday morning as I got packed up to drive to Highland Park, IL. The weather service was forecasting blizzard conditions for 2 pm, meaning the drive home (about 5 pm) would be quite an adventure! And getting there was an adventure, too. When I got to the exit for Highland Park, there were two cars stuck on the exit ramp. I slowed down, but made the decision to pass the exit: I don’t think my Mazda2 had the ground clearance to make it through the drifts collecting on the roadway. I had enough time before the festival start, and Apple Maps on my phone, so I took the chance that I would be able to find my way back from the next exit.

Arriving at the festival after making it through the backwoods of Highland Park. Snow fell throughout the day.

Arriving at the festival after making it through the backwoods of Highland Park. Snow fell throughout the day.

The festival was definitely still on, and I arrived in time. Ben Rusch, the coordinator, was manning the front desk, since his student volunteer(s) had not arrived. We knew we would have some stories to tell from #BassFestBlizzard. In the end, I believe about half of the registered attendees actually made it that day. I was relieved that by noon all six bassists and our marimba player were present!

I was happy to be there in time for David Murray’s class on dancing to the Bach ‘cello suites. If you hear he is offering this again, I encourage you to attend … it will open your eyes on the performance of these staples of the adopted bass repertoire.

As always, I was really happy to be a part of the festival.

A wise person I know reminds me to treat the recording of a live performance as something unique, and to not judge it too harshly. There are stresses and conditions when performing live that are specific to live performance, and until you as a group have a lot of experience together, you won’t sound as good as you do when rehearsing. As I said, wise words. But here is some reflection and analysis of our performance. (.pdf: Program Chicago Bass Festival.)

Dream Time – the sound is rich and full! Listening back to it, I really remember why I wanted to have Julian Romane as part of the group – he has an attack sound that is really sort of marvelously aggressive. The performance has a lot of excitement and energy and I love the piece. But our execution is bedeviled by rhythmic sloppiness, missed entrances and the occasional intonation woes. I know it could have been better. I wish I had had both the time and the discipline to record our rehearsals and really make everyone listen to them so we could have identified problem spots and ironed them out.

Quartet 1987 – as in the other pieces, there is a really good sound across the group and it’s such a emotionally rich piece to play. But there are the occasional rhythmic / ensemble problems. And my own occasional pitch inaccuracy (oh damn, that was supposed to be a dominant rather than a major seventh chord!) But still, there is a real emotional resonance across much of the performance, and I’m happy about that! I can see also that some of my colleagues suffer from the same occasional lack of concentration that I do (missed entrances). But there is also some great ensemble playing, rhythmically tight and exciting.

At this point in the program, we added two more bass players to the mix, bringing us to a total of six on stage!

Livre – the texture of four basses playing the vibraphone part works very nicely, and Josh Harrison and Doug Johnson carry their parts beautifully. And happily there is only one moment—but very very obvious—when one of the pizzicato voices (one note per measure for each of the other four bassists) miss an entrance.

Rural Sketches – a much better recording than the premiere. Doug Johnson and Andy Anderson doing great work on those highest voices. And the more I listen to this piece, the more I like it. Matthew Coley’s marimba playing seems flawless. The articulation of the basses is sometimes lost, which is probably more a function of the microphones and their placement than of our performance or the piece. Ensemble is good (Well, except for that one impossible bit) (but where would we have been if not for our conductor, Leslie B. Dunner!).  Neal Rodack, playing with us for the first time, acquitted himself quite well. I am enjoying listening to our performance; I wish we could do it again with more rehearsal time. https://soundcloud.com/jacque-harper/rural-sketches (audio only) and youtu.be/mbmS23_105o (video).

bass sextet with marimba

The Chicago Bass Ensemble, with Matthew Coley, marimba, and Leslie B. Dunner, conductor, at the 2015 Chicago Bass Festival.

Running this group is something I really love doing. And also something that I find really challenging. Why? Because it’s not working the way I’d like it to. I really want a collaborative atmosphere, with a committed group of the same people, constant across gigs. I want the group to sound really polished and exciting. And I haven’t been able to achieve that.

But it might be for lack of trying.

I have always preferred a model of rehearsals dedicated to a specific performance. Rehearsing every week with no specific goal in sight has always seemed to me to be the mark of an amateur ensemble. But I have to admit that in the earlier years of this group, that was the model we followed, and we did sound better for it. My mistake there was probably that at some point I should have been more aggressive about finding “ends,” that is to say some kind of performances. Doing so would have kept up the interest of two critical players who ended up declining to participate further (at the time).

So, as a leader I think I must renew the effort to stabilize the group’s membership, and return to a regular practice schedule with the goal of sounding good. Further ends will materialize as needed.

This is quite a long post. Have you read all the way through it? Were you at either of these performances? What did you think? Do you play in a band or an ‘ensemble’ of some sort? What is your organizational style and what are your goals? Let me know in the comments.

On a Good Day

Wednesday, January 7th, 2015

If you’re one of the three people who read this blog, you know that I don’t often blog about personal issues or events, or really anything personal. The original point of blogging was to create a fairly rich store of bass ensemble related content for its SEO value. But tonight is different.

I have had a good day, such a good day that I thought I should take a moment to capture it, and even to share it with “the world” – yes all three of you 🙂

(I looked at my sister-in-law’s website, The BOP Collective, and specifically her post about “playing Sherlock to your past” to make your own brand stand out. Today isn’t exactly a day that reveals everything about my past in true Holmes/Conan-Doyle style, but there are glimmers of the many things I love that showed up today.)

In chronological order:

  • I gave a presentation on agile development processes to my colleagues at work today. Those of you who know me will remember that I’m pretty enthusiastic about making life better for development teams, and in general for people who are trying to get things done. (Those of you who don’t know me, my profile on LinkedIn should give some clues.) My presentation, given in a low-key and off-the-cuff style, with a collection of slides that were really just notes to speak from, was really well-received. And so it looks like the work I’m currently doing will include an opportunity to do some agile coaching. That’s a good thing! I love doing that.
  • A new project came to my desk in the late afternoon, with potential for some easy wins in improving the conversion of a web form collecting sign-ups. I won’t go into details. On the way home, I was kind of dancing in my head about the conversations we will be able to have on this project, weighing the approaches and cost/benefit relationship of various choices in the interaction design of these pages. Sound like greek to you? Don’t worry about it — my point here isn’t to fully explain it, the important thing is that it made me really enjoy that part of my day.
  • I got home, my wife had made dinner & it was nearly waiting on the table. In addition to being delicious, this meant that I didn’t have to race away from the table just to get to Chicago Bass Ensemble rehearsal. I enjoyed sitting with my family for dinner. Did I mention it was delicious?
  • And because it’s colder than … well, what I really want to say I won’t–it’s a just-slightly off-color thing my friend Mark McCarron-Fraser told me when I left California to go to school in Minnesota … because it’s colder than what that phrase says, my wife also gave me a ride to rehearsal. Sweet! These last two items made me feel very appreciated and supported. Oh! and then she picked me up when rehearsal was done.
  • Rehearsal went really well. Honestly, our playing is not perfect — there is plenty of room for improvement, I’ll admit it. But all the guys (Doug, Julian, Josh) are enthusiastic and enjoying working together. Criticism seems to be delivered and received in a good spirit, and while it won’t be perfect, our presentation on Saturday will be reasonable. Overall, that makes me feel good.
  • And I learned that there will be openings in the bass section of the Lyric Opera of Chicago’s orchestra next year. Such a long shot for me . . . but it’s not the worst goal in the world to shoot for. My optimistic self is saying “work your ass off getting ready for music camp, and after that, keep working for an audition at Lyric, and you’re gonna make great music in 2015.”

And all that has added up to me feeling great at the end of the day today. Thanks for reading and for letting me share that feeling with you. I hope you’ll have a few great days in the near future, too.

Old Friends

Tuesday, September 10th, 2013

On Sunday, John, Anton, Hans and I began rehearsals for our performance on October 13.

When I get a new performance opportunity, my gut instinct is to find a whole new program – music we’ve not performed before. I don’t know exactly where this impulse comes from. Perhaps it’s from my earliest training, in elementary and high school, where the three or four times per year concerts were always done with new repertoire.

Of course, that made complete sense in context. Our dedicated audience consisted primarily if not exclusively of our parents. And the ostensible reason for the music program in the first place would have been to expose us to different composers, styles, et cetera.

But does that approach make sense in the context of an ensemble like this one? Unlike in school, we don’t (yet) have a dedicated/exclusive audience. Each new series that books us brings in their own audience, and we bring along what audience we can (are you on our mailing list?). This means that, probably, the majority of the audience at any one concert has not heard us or our music before.

And so, relieved of the burden of complete originality, I have set a program for October 13 that is 80% the same as our performance on March 10. This means that these pieces, rather than being oh-my-god-what-is-happening-here exercises in learning notes, are old friends to us.

Playing through the list (see the post promoting October 13 performance), I enjoyed the feeling of recognizing what I was doing, of hearing the harmonies clearly, instead of the muddled-up confusion that often accompanies our first readings of things.

Yes, I do feel a twinge of guilt at this. There’s still something in me that wants to demonstrate my readiness for a challenge, the challenge of mastering something new. And it is also the case that when Michael Hovnanian left the group, he expressed frustration at always working on the same material. (And no offense to Michael, we were a bit stuck in a rut at that point. It’s one of the reasons I invested a good chunk of cash in repertoire the following year.)

But there exists also the fact that “mastery” is not necessarily achieved at a first performance. Assuaging my guilty feelings, I set a new challenge, that we will play these old friends better than before.

I would love to hear from those of you who perform regularly in your own groups: what’s your philosophy for adding or changing repertoire? How important, how often, HOW? Please leave a comment!

Make No Little Plans

Friday, August 16th, 2013

Make no little plans. They have no magic to stir men’s blood and probably will not themselves be realized.

I’ve decided to take this famous quote from Daniel Burnham (1846-1912) to heart.

For too long, this ensemble has been built on little plans. Mostly, the plan has been to wait by the phone for some arts organization to call, inquiring about fees or offering a performance. This has not proved a productive way to get lots of performance opportunities. When a performance has arisen, I’ve scrambled to pull together some repertoire and assemble a cast of players (drawing on a group of familiars).

While I’ve been basically satisfied with the results, it’s not the ultimate goal.

I hesitate to state the true ultimate goal, for fear of sounding insanely over ambitious, but maybe in a future post.

Back to the subject at hand: bigger plans! I have decided that I need to prepare a program that is ambitious and interesting, in advance of any planned performance. I need to find the players that can execute it, and then schedule several performances, as a goal or target. And then work like the dickens to make a great show of it. And really, I’d like to record the result and make it available for sale.

(I’ve spent a fair amount of time at this, with not a whole lot to show for it. A recording would be handsome documentary evidence of the work I’ve done.)

And I want to pick ambitious, challenging and interesting repertoire for this endeavor. At the moment, I am trying to decide between two pieces as the anchor for the performance:

There is a third possibility, Bjorn Berkhout’s Rise, which we have performed in the past, but I feel a need to acknowledge some of the ‘history’ of the double bass quartet.

The program would be rounded out with some lighter fare, probably one of Tony Osborne‘s recent compositions, perhaps some transcriptions.

Or perhaps there is some epic work for bass quartet that I’m not aware of.

I would love to hear what you think in the comments. Which is the work more in need of a current playing? Which would you rather hear, or buy a copy of? (And if you’re a member of the strings subgroup of the Professional Musician’s Network on LinkedIn, I’ve created a poll there asking the same question.)

 

 

Struggling Artist or Rock Star: Why Only Two Choices?

Saturday, November 3rd, 2012

A recent article about Cat Power has fueled my thinking about the pigeonholing of artists — both by themselves and others.

I often find I’ve put myself in the trap of thinking that there only two choices: “I’m a starving artist” or “I’m a Rock Star”? That somehow I have to either scrimp and pinch and struggle, or have wild, incredible fame and fortune, and that there’s no in-between. That’s pretty much what the author of the Atlantic Wire article about Cat Power has decided.

But these statements by David Wagner are clearly oversimplifications:

  • “It’s no shock to learn that musicians lead financially precarious lives”
  • “Everyone knows that artists go out on a financial limb by committing to creativity as a career.”

These two statements are FALSE. I know plenty of musicians who make their living playing or teaching music, and live in houses and have mortgages and cars and kids in school. That is, they lead fairly plain, solid “middle-class” lives. No drama. But that’s not an exciting or interesting story, so who’s going to write about it?

Cat Power’s story, essentially about a person making a living but encountering health problems for which they can’t find or possibly afford care, would not be the subject of a news article or even an opinion piece if she were simply a sales clerk at a convenience store, or a bank teller. Imagine the tweet “MAY HAVE TO MISS WORK THIS WEEK ON ACCOUNT OF MIGRAINES AND ASTHMA.” Inspiration for a magazine cover? I don’t think so.

Sidebar: Steve Lawson has also written a brief post in response to the David Wagner article: http://www.stevelawson.net/2012/10/indie-or-not-who-gets-the-money/ .

My perception is we’re in a culture that idolizes extremes and isn’t interested in middles. But let’s not digress to politics.

Back to the personal intent I had in writing this post. And that is to briefly explore my attitude towards the work of creating and leading this chamber music group, the Chicago Bass Ensemble. I think I’ve found myself ensnared by the myth that a struggling artist is a great artist. And as a result, I put roadblocks in my own way, so it will look to me like I am struggling and therefore deserve to be great. Examples:

  • Music reading sessions like the one I led last month. Yes, musician’s schedules don’t always line up easily. But tools like Doodle, Google Calendar and PHPList e-mail make it actually pretty simple to find a date. And speaking personally, even finding a space isn’t a HUGE deal. So why do I let months and months go by without setting up reading sessions? So I can have something to complain about! Look, ma! I’m struggling!
  • Finding new music. I agonize about finding music to play (Ma! This such a struggle!). But my friend Dave pointed out to me the other day that I should be able to find and listen to pieces via YouTube. Of course! Duh! Or as Lou Mallozzi at Experimental Sound Studio sometimes encourages me to do, sponsor a call for compositions. It’s just not that hard.
  • Practice. Here’s the deal here: I do NOT currently make a comfortable cozy living as a musician. I work a day job. And I have a family. So, yes, finding time for extended and detailed work in the practice room can be a scheduling problem. But I can, and do, fit in 10 or 15 minutes almost every day (and thanks to Lift, I track it–and my flossing–so I know that in the last 7 weeks, I’ve checked in on “Practice Musical Instrument” 39 times). No struggle, just do it!
  • Getting, and publicizing, performances. Well, I haven’t found the silver bullet on this one yet. I haven’t put in the work to get well-known to presenters and organizations. And I haven’t gone whole-hog on the self-presenting thing yet. Probably the struggle here is just to decide on a course of action: self-promote, or pursue presenters, or just record, or …? Not having a clear direction in mind makes it very hard to take action! So, I’m deluding myself if I say getting gigs is a struggle. Committing to a course of action is what’s needed.

So I started this post off talking about a misdirected view that we have of artists: that they either struggle or live in mansions. I don’t think that is true. I think there are artists who are able to create their art and enjoy their lives, neither crushed under the heel of callous misfortune nor cavorting with the lotus-eaters. Personally, I have fallen into the trap of equating struggle with artistic success. And I am writing this post to force myself, publicly, in front of both of you who read and comment on this blog, to admit that my life just isn’t that hard and I can be successful, even if it doesn’t require struggle to achieve my goals.

 

Goals and Visions

Friday, September 21st, 2012

Those of you who know me personally will know that I work, by day, as a coach to companies using agile methodology to build software (see Redpoint’s website as well as my new blog). I’ve been reading Chet Richards book “Certain to Win,” which applies the strategies of USAF Col. John Boyd to business. Chapter IV, and pages 76-78 specifically discuss the importance of goals that are understood by the participants and a compelling mission.

Fairly standard stuff, I think for someone who’s been involved with a large enterprise in the last twenty years. But Richards’ book got me thinking: what about the Chicago Bass Ensemble is so unifying, exciting and compelling that players will be inspired to join me?

Because to be honest with you, the last 18 months or so for this group have been–except for the period in January and February 2012 where we had three performances–unproductive and uninteresting. Part of that is because of my own busy-ness with work (for instance, starting with Redpoint in March), but I think there is also some deeper/larger issue.

For instance, periodically I send an e-mail to a list of bass players I know, inviting them to join me in reading through bass ensemble literature. It’s always a bit difficult to find a time when everyone can get together–everybody’s busy, of course–but the response to my last invite was really dreadful, actually: only one person took the time to respond (you know who you are, and thank you!!). It makes me think: what I’m doing must not appeal to anyone else out there.

But that can’t be!

What I’m doing is very cool stuff. I just haven’t properly communicated it. And as trite as it might sound to those of you who are jaded business professionals, I need to craft a statement of my vision–my Vision–for the Chicago Bass Ensemble.

I’m going to use this post, and its comments, to start to try out statements about what I want this group to be. Your comments, thoughts, observations ARE very much welcomed.

Chicago Bass Ensemble Vision Statements – draft, with comments

  • to provide bass players an opportunity to perform high-quality chamber music [good, but generic]
  • to promote to the public the bass as an instrument, and the bass ensemble as an interesting group [high-falutin’?]
  • to demonstrate the bass as a serious, dramatic and exciting instrument [urgh, tedious language]
  • to bring the bass from the back of the orchestra to a starring role [too much negative connotation of the bass’ current role]
  • to present high-quality and dramatic chamber music [I like the breadth of this statement, it’s about music, not ‘bass music’]
  • to showcase…
  • to explore…
  • to dispel the myth of the bass as a clumsy low cousin [hahahahaha]
  • to have fun…
  • to challenge myself and other bass players to practice and perform at our highest level of ability and musicianship

What do YOU think? Are any of these statements more meaningful than others? Leave your comments . . .

Jacque

Far Too Long Without an Update

Sunday, July 15th, 2012

Have you noticed that it’s been a long time since I posted anything on this blog? Yeah, I noticed it too. Last week. And the week before. And the week before that. I haven’t even finished the “wrap-up” posting for our performance at the Chicago Bass Festival, and that was in February.

It’s a sad state of affairs.

Had to cancel our appearance at Chicago’s Day of Music festival, as well as drop out of Seth Boustead’s live radio show recording at the Empty Bottle. I’m feeling slightly discouraged.

I’ve got cool new pieces to work on, but I’m having a heck of a time getting players together to read through them. They are two pieces from Tony Osborne commissioned by myself and others at the behest of David Heyes from Recital Music. I’m looking forward to working on them.

What do you do to restart a creative project that is faltering? I’d love to hear from you.

– Jacque

Post-Rehearsal Thoughts, 22 December 2011

Monday, December 26th, 2011

This morning we had what I believe was a very productive rehearsal. It’s gratifying to hear things coming together. We did good work on the da Victoria Motets, Armand Russell’s Ultra-Rondo, Simón García’s A Night in Compostela, and Klaus Stoll’s arrangement of a Purcell Air and Dance.

One of the things which struck me, both during the rehearsal and after, was a sense of nervousness I have about giving musical direction. I don’t think this is entirely a bad thing. I mean, it is and it isn’t:

It’s a bad thing

It’s a bad thing to be the leader of a group (any group or team, pursuing any goal or work) and not know what the direction is, that the end goal is, what is the best way to get there.

It’s a bad thing to be weak, wimpy, a pushover and accept every suggestion you hear uncritically.

It isn’t a bad thing

I’ve said (and I added it to my bio blurb on this site) that I want this group to be collegial. Colleagues give and take suggestions and criticisms from each other with respect.

It’s a lot of work to lead a group, especially in a “start up” or “early career” state. There is a website to be maintained, performance details to be organized, contracts and equipment lists to approve, rehearsals to be scheduled, music to be bought and more. If mine was the only voice giving musical direction, well, there wouldn’t be much musical direction. (For those who don’t know me, I also work a full-time job. The bass ensemble, my passion and my joy, is my second career for now.)

Chamber ensembles have to work together. They’re not dictatorships, at least I don’t believe so.

There’s value to be had by combining the wisdom of all the participants in an endeavor.

Consensus, Collaboration, Collegial?

I agree that there are endeavors in the world that should not be run by consensus. But I’m not sure that intimate musical groups are among them. There’s no way a symphony orchestra could run by consensus, but what about a string quarter like the Tokyo? And how does a small group dedicated to a unique repertoire like Kronos manage? How does the collegial aspect of such a group fare when a member has to be replaced? Note to self: see if you can answer these questions before someone does so in the comments!

Weekly Recap–30 October

Sunday, October 30th, 2011

Let’s have a look at what came off the to-do list from last week.

  • I’ve now got a set of rehearsals scheduled. Not enough rehearsals, of course, since it’s really hard to coordinate the schedules of four freelance musicians. But something to start from.
  • Um, okay, well that’s it for major accomplishments. But it’s a big and important one!
For the coming week:
  • Get at least a rough set list in place for both January 15 and February 5 performances.
  • Work on scheduling another performance sometime between January 31 and February 7 — Mike Wittgraf will be in town, and it would be fulfilling to play his piece, “Autogeneous Mining,” a second time while he’s here.
  • Get out an announcement to the mailing list, to build enthusiasm. This has to happen!!

I’ve been reading a book called “Uncertainty – Turning Fear and Doubt into Fuel for Brilliance” by Jonathan Fields. There are a couple of points that have stuck with me so far.

One way to mitigate the stress of taking on projects with uncertain outcomes is to have regular, stabilizing routines. These routines help to calm the mind and maintain order of some sort when the things around you seem highly disordered. I expect that most musicians will recognize their practice routine as something which brings order to their days. I know that I feel better when I have had regular time to practice. Fields calls these “uncertainty anchors.”

In addition to having mentors, whose role is probably pretty well-known to musicians and businesspeople alike, Fields asks you to find heroes and champions as well. Where a mentor is someone who is available to you to provide guidance, advice and encouragement on a personal level, a hero is someone who has all the successes and qualities that you would pick in a mentor, but who is not available to you personally. In spite of not being able to engage directly and immediately with your hero, you can draw a lot of strength and wisdom from observing and following them and their path.

A champion is someone who believes in you and is there to help you, even provide for you, no matter what happens. Fields cites his own wife as his champion (and himself as hers, neatly reciprocal). He describes his own decision to leave a job that he disliked in order to follow a career that called to him, even in the days immediately following the September 11 World Trade Center bombings, which threw so much into chaos and uncertainty. His wife championed his cause, offering him unconditional support, because she believed in what he was doing. Such is the power of a champion.

There are hints of some other important support structures for uncertain ventures. I won’t summarize them right now, because they’re not yet firmly in my head, and I’m not going to just re-key them here. I’ll write about them next week, perhaps. I will say that among them is something like tribal leadership, a subject of some interest to me. What better form of leadership for an entity like a chamber music group? Related: for those in the area, check out Si Alhir’s seminar on Agility and Tribal Leadership this week. Having worked closely with Si during his engagement at Cars.com, I believe this will be a valuable seminar.

Perhaps in future posts on this blog, I will be able to tell you something about the mentors, heroes and champions I choose to follow.

Weekly Recap – 15 October

Saturday, October 15th, 2011

I promised a new blog post, and seeing how many of you are clamoring for more news, how could I disappoint you?!

From the list of things to do that I published last week:

  • I talked with Wilson and we will schedule a meeting when we see each other Monday for Who Needs Dave rehearsal. Pretty Good.
  • Not so well-done, I haven’t booked a fourth player. But I did get an e-mail sent (his voice mail inbox was full and not accepting messages). Bad.
  • Also not done, I didn’t get music from Wittgraf. Bad.
  • I have written a follow-up post. You’re reading it. Good.
One thing I got done that wasn’t on the list: publish an announcement of Chicago Classical Music for the January 15 performance. Good!
So, by this time next week:
  • Get a fourth player.
  • Get music from Mike Wittgraf.
  • Also from Wittgraf, a detailed list of what equipment will be needed here for February 5.
  • Publish another blog post detailing the exciting life of someone trying to organize a bass ensemble.
  • Do more thinking about the programs for January and February. Goal: have half of each “confirmed” in my mind.
Okay, so there really aren’t that many of you commenting on these blog posts. But the threat in my mind that someone might be is enough to motivate at least some action. How’s that for a leadership strategy?