Thursday, April 10, 2014

So we don't just play music?

Basia Danilow of the Lark Quartet
"I confess, I still have a flip phone..." 
by Basia Danilow

Upon joining Lark, I had a one of my then new quartet colleagues gently inform me that there would, at times, be quite a lot of administrative work involved. Having been a member of several groups before as well as having a husband who has run a music festival for over twenty years, I was not surprised. I thought I was fairly well aware of what was required.  It turns out I was, well…..sort of.

Sometimes, it seems there is no end to what needs to be done. Other times, there is a bit of a lull before it all starts up again. From Kathryn’s previous blog, one can see all that goes into putting out a CD, (whew!) but what about just the general day to day business of being in a quartet?

Beginning with the obvious, we discuss and choose repertoire, create programs, schedule rehearsals, confirm concert and project dates…. and everything goes into a Google doc and onto the Google calendar for easy reference.  So far so good, but wait….there is so much more! Below is a list of just a few.
  • Be in constant communication with our manager as well as presenters, check dates/programs, book dates, arrange travel etc.
  • Organize educational/outreach programs.
  • Maintain and update Google calendar. 
  • Maintain and update our website/ Facebook/ Twitter (and blog!).
  • House and maintain the Lark library, copy/scan/purchase music when necessary. 
  • Research/apply for grants.
  • Research composers/commissions. 
  • Organize, schedule and prepare agenda for board meetings. 
  • Organize and prepare for photo shoots. 
  • Keep track of finances/prepare taxes.
Lark’s approach to keep things running smoothly is “divide and conquer”, though we do have a bit of help with some things (thank you, Jamie and James!) I confess, I still have a flip phone and would much prefer to actually speak with a person rather than text them.  Fortunately, my colleagues patiently put up with this, though it can occasionally result in much more time at the computer, catching up on emails etc.

In the end though, all of this work allows us the privilege of continuing to explore, perform and coach great music on the highest possible level, which is after all, what we love and the reason we joined a quartet in the first place!

Basia Danilow - Violinist of the Lark String Quartet

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