What Music Tells Us About Leadership and Collaboration

Media Contacts:
Randy Mitchell, education and career planning director, 509.682.6858
Libby Siebens, executive director community relations, 509.682.6436 (Mon. – Thurs.)

September 12, 2016

The second annual WVC Speaks Lecture Series will begin with “What Music Tells Us About Leadership and Collaboration,” presented by Andrew Tudor, WVC Dean of Libraries and Technologies. The lecture is Thursday, Sept. 29, at 2 p.m. in McArthur Lecture Hall, Wenatchi Hall room 2105 and via interactive television on the WVC at Omak campus in Heritage Building room 901.

“It’s pretty easy to see how leadership works in music,” Tudor said. “A composer leads by expressing an idea. A conductor leads by interpreting that idea, and musicians lead by working collaboratively to bring that idea to life. These roles are reflected in leadership theory.” The composer is a version of the “charismatic" leader, who sees a need and its creative solution and inspires others to help create it. A conductor is a version of the “situational" leader, who uses a variety of techniques depending on the situation. Musical ensembles—which haven't always had conductors—are examples of “leaderless" groups, which agree on the cause and put the right individuals forward as situations demand. There are all sorts of other examples of leadership in music—the marching band drum major, the jazz soloist, the ground-breaking composer—but how do these examples inform the leadership we see in the non-musical world?

This presentation will look at this question four ways: Tudor will use examples from the musical world to understand prominent leadership theories; consider the relationship between musical themes and organizational missions; look at how musical ensembles reflect organizations that collectively pursue a vision; and look at how the interaction of words and melody reflect the complexity we see and lead through in our organizations. He will use examples ranging from Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony to the song “We Shall Overcome,” and artists ranging from Bach to Springsteen.

“Great musical leaders make the infinitely complex interactions in music beautiful, and they can teach us to do the same in our organizations,” Tudor said.

Andrew Tudor spent two years at the University of Michigan School of Music as an aspiring orchestral trumpet player before he realized that his musical mind could be applied to other disciplines. He wrote his undergraduate thesis on the interaction of words and music; earned a master’s degree in music librarianship; and evolved from being a college librarian to a college administrator who has twice held positions leading the library, information technology and distance learning. In fall 2016, he will complete his doctorate in higher education leadership at Seattle University.

Daily parking passes on the Wenatchee campus cost $2. Parking permit machines are available in the Wells Hall/Music and Art Center, Smith Gym, Brown Library and Sexton Hall lots. Students must have valid WVC parking permits.