Karen Schnackenberg  

Orchestra Librarian Column Introduction

Karen Schnackenberg
May 2, 2019

Editor's Abstract (Click to Hide)

Did you ever wonder what happens behind the scenes to get your music on your stand in time for (or in your possession a few weeks before) the first rehearsal?

Karen Schnackenberg, Chief Librarian of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, will reveal all her librarian secrets. Karen was a violinist with the New Orleans and Oklahoma Symphonies, and wrote a column about classical music for the International Musician for many years.

Karen has agreed to write a column, and solicit articles from her librarian colleagues, about all aspects of being an orchestra librarian. Karen is quite active in MOLA (Major Orchestra Librarians' Association) and already has several of her colleagues working on some of the topics she lists in her introduction.

Karen's first article, Who Is That Orchestra Librarian?, addresses that most annoying question asked of orchestra librarians: "Are you a musician?" She explains emphatically that, of course, orchestral librarians are musicians and goes on to extol their many talents and skills. After reading Karen's article, you should have a whole new perspective on your own orchestra's librarians.

- Ann Drinan

In this area of the website we will focus on issues relating to the orchestra library and librarians. Articles will be written by a variety of performance librarians about who we are, what we do, and topics relevant to our part of the business, such as:

  • how the part-marking process happens
  • when the players get their music
  • errors in parts
  • rental parts
  • copyright issues
  • standard library policies
  • the physical music library
  • the librarian’s role within the orchestra organization
  • the librarian’s relationship with the conductors, players and managers

And we’ll add anything else we can think of that might be useful to the professional symphony musician.

If there is a particular library-related topic about which you would like to learn more, please let us know and we will be happy to include it. For our first installment, we present, Who Is That Orchestra Librarian?


Comments (Click to Hide)

As a good friend of a retired orchestra librarian, I know for a fact that most librarians would not tolerate the first word of the second paragraph not being capitalized.
katin on May 9, 2019 at 10:21 AM
Thank you for pointing out the problem with Karen's intro. The "second paragraph" was supposed to be a bullet list, not a paragraph. We have fixed it. Please forgive this lapse -- Word articles were being oh-so-quickly converted to HTML formatting in time for the launch in April, and none of us caught this one.
Ann Drinan, Senior Editor
AnnDrinan on June 7, 2019 at 4:43 PM

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