A conference at Howard Assembly Room, Leeds.

Thoroughly Good at ABO2023

It’s the ABO Conference this week. Many of the UK’s orchestras, ensembles and arts organisations all convening to chew the cud (and masticate on a conference dinner). In between various sessions on recruitment, touring, fundraising and audiences, there will be the inevitable networking opportunities too.

Heads up. I hate networking. I’m not very good at it. At least I don’t think so. I despise small talk (never ask me how I am because I promise you I will tell you and you’ll wish you hadn’t asked). And I’m always concerned I’m wasting your time and will as a result bring the conversation to an end as quickly as possible.

Surprised? Offended? Don’t be. I just figure it always helps others to be completely transparent. And I think it’s always nice to have something specific in mind to talk about. Questions. Things to dig in deeper about. Consider this a helpful pre-brief.

So with that in mind, here’s a primer on Thoroughly Good’s recent activities and future plans, just in case like me you’re stuck for things to talk about (assuming we bump into each other at all).

And just to bring you fully up to speed too, I’m very much an Earl Grey tea drinker now and am trying very hard (and succeeding) in cutting back my alcohol intake, so if you’re offering to go to the bar I’ll just have a Virgin Mary. Thanks.

Ten things from Thoroughly Good’s 2022

Yuja Wang at Royal Festival Hall – a 2022 Thoroughly Good Highlight
  1. Trained international war reporters on digital content publication best practise including digital content strategy, copywriting, video production and metadata.
  2. Facilitated individual coaching programmes for arts administrators, students, and producers in further education, orchestras, schools and the independent recording industry.
  3. Digital content strategy and production work for Wigmore Hall. Supporting phenomenal people working for the much-loved brand enjoyed by passionate appreciative audiences. My appreciation for chamber music has deepened as a result. I fear spelling composers’ names, in particular Dvořák and Lizst Liszt. Have also done a little script-writing and promotional film producing.
  4. Digital Consultancy for Ulster Orchestra over the past 18 months developing a content framework, supporting recruitment, and developing thinking and skillsets.
  5. Executive coaching at Coca-Cola, Channel 4, Netflix, Mastercard, General Electric, Sony, Costa, HSBC, Thomson Reuters and Talk Talk. Working with senior leaders on a one-to-one basis on leadership, creativity, innovative thinking, prioritisation, presence, and communication.
  6. Sharing digital content best practise with the 2023 RPS Composers and RPS Awards Panellist.
  7. Sharing digital content storytelling techniques and creative thinking withBath Festival Orchestra.
  8. Digital content marketing services for soloists, composers, and chamber music ensembles.
  9. Visited Elb Philharmonie to see Bamberg Symphony Orchestra and was floored by the experience, beginning a research process for A Big Writing Project (see below). Had a fabulous time at the Aldeburgh Festival last year and have now booked up for the entire first week in this year’s festival in June. 
  10. Wrote for some industry publications.
The Red House at Aldeburgh displays many Britten artefacts and seeing some of them was partly what made Aldeburgh Festival 2022 so very enjoyable. Appreciation of classical music sometimes goes beyond the core content.

Thoroughly Good is on the lookout for …

  1. a publisher. Do you know of any you can introduce me to?
  2. introductions to scientists, thinkers and performers (plus audience members) to explore the psychology of audiences and the science of the listening experience.
  3. …. authoritative voices on the subject of music education in the UK, publications that document the history of music education, in addition to some recommendations as to current thinking.
  4. digital content strategy opportunities and specifically partnerships with artistic directors to programme seasons of content that have digital outcomes at the heart of the planning phase. (If you’re looking for evaluation, best practise, recommendations and training, that’s also good too.)
  5. coaching programme opportunities from arts organisations or private individuals.
  6. travel opportunities – especially destinations which are part of the concert experience.
  7. … ad-hoc paid writing opportunities.

If you’re at ABO this year, be sure to say hello and be sure to share what you’ve been up to over the past year too. Find me on Twitter @thoroughlygood and Instagram @thoroughly_good