I just found a new blog from the Arizona Opera Musicians Association that illustrates a great way to use a blogging platform (Google’s Blogger service in this case) to create a musician-driven ensemble site. Many orchestra musicians are banding together to create musician-operated community sites for their organizations, and Azooma is a great example, with a great Flash site with information about the group, their membership in the American Federation of Musicians, photos, and more. They also have a group blog at www.azooma.blogspot.com, where they are blogging about Tuscon Symphony contract problems, Arizona Opera impresario Glynn Ross, gigging life, and my Road Warrior series.
This blog provides an excellent window into the inner workings of an opera orchestra. This is information that, with rare exception, you simply won’t get from an official arts organization. Want to know how much a typical AZOOMA musician makes from the opera per season? This blog will tell you (anywhere from $1000-6000).
They also provide a wonderful chart highlighting service compensation for opera companies in comparable metropolitan areas:
(chart linked from www.azooma.blogspot.com)
The site also includes a YouTube video in the sidebar highlighting a recent AZOOMA performance of Johann Strauss’ Die Fledermaus. What a great site, and what a great incorporation of blogging, video, and social media in an arts organization! Kudos to the AZOOMA musicians–they’re definitely onto something here with this site.