Orchestral Management Tips

Caitlin Gilmour, AYO Alumna

Caitlin Gilmour is an Alumna of AYO's National Music Camp Orchestral Management course. She currently works as the Education Coordinator with the Australian Chamber Orchestra .


Tell us about your music administration journey

I studied musical theatre and classical voice in high school. I always had a passion to be either a music teacher or a singing teacher. However, I ended up taking the path of arts management. I completed the Arts Management course at WAAPA; it was great course which that really encouraged you to do as much work experience as possible. I did lots of internships and tried a few different things – for example, I interned for Carriageworks, a theatre company, a dance company, etc. I loved music and decided that I wanted to pursue working in music administration. After graduating I was lucky enough to get a job with ACO as the Education Assistant to work on their National Education Program.

How did AYO’s Orchestral Management program help you in your current role?

When I first started at ACO I had no idea what a chamber orchestra was; I was a bit shaky until I did the AYO Orchestral Management course. During the course I learnt how to set up the stage quickly, how to pack up and pack down, take care of musicians and their different needs, hustle people on and off stage, etc - it really helped with all my production skills.

What do you enjoy about your role with the ACO?

ACO has a huge national education program; I’m the on the ground person and I also get to go on regional tours with ACO Collective consisting of the Emerging Artists from that year, many of whom have been through AYO programs as part of their development. It’s a really fun, hands on job. My role during regional tours includes transport, orchestral management, stage management, setting up and packing down the stage, marketing, etc.

What other benefits came from participating in the AYO Orchestral Management program?

It was wonderful getting to know AYO itself and realising that these orchestral musicians grow up together from such a young age; it has such a family feel. You can see the friendships between people and realise where it sprouts form. I had no knowledge of this before – it’s so great to see that this is where it starts for so many people, they get to meet other people like them and it’s an environment where people’s passion for music is acknowledged.

Can you share your Top Orchestral Management Tips?

  • Never assume anything, double check everything, no matter how simple.
  • Have empathy
  • Try not to be the boss/y, you’re there to facilitate and check the musicians have everything they need to get on stage and play.
  • Always know the schedule
  • Know each of the musicians and their quirks
  • Don’t panic, everything can be fixed 

 Click here to read more about AYO’s Alumni Program including news, events and opportunities.