March 13, 2024

Meet the MSM Scheduling and Patron Services Department team

The MSM Scheduling and Patron Services Department plays an important role at MSM overseeing the scheduling and coordination of thousands of private lessons, coaching, rehearsals, student recitals, and performances, as well as running the box office and front-of-house operations for all ticketed performances.

Ramon Tenefrancia, the Assistant Director for Scheduling and Patron Services, helps lead this exceptionally busy department under the direction of Madeline Tolliver, MSM Dean of Performance and Production Operations.

In this blog post, Ramon gives us a behind-the-scenes tour of the crucial work his office does to keep the School running smoothly.

In photo above from left to right: Alexander Keiser, Charlotte Jakobs, Gileann Tan, Ramon Tenefrancia (BM’18), Veronica Mak (BM ’19, MM ’21), Clay Matthews (BM ’18).

Photos by Anna Yatskevich.

Ramon Tenefrancia, Assistant Director for Scheduling and Patron Services

Can you tell us about the volume of scheduling activity that is done by the MSM Scheduling and Patron Services Department?

From a numbers perspective, the Scheduling and Patron Services Department at MSM is responsible for the scheduling of 15,000 hours of private lessons each semester, 5,000 hours of chamber and vocal coaching, and the scheduling and processing of 350 student recitals.

We also run the front-of-house services for the 800 public performances and events in the academic year that take place in our concert halls and spaces, as well as box office services for our ticketed concerts and events.

The office of MSM's Scheduling and Patron Services coordinates more than 20,000 hours of bookings each academic year.

What is a typical day’s work for the Scheduling Department?

The Scheduling and Patron Services Department functions on various levels to ensure, not only the execution of our daily tasks, but also to revise and update protocols and systems that can improve the student and faculty experience when it comes to scheduling classrooms, practice studios, rehearsal and performance spaces, and more at MSM.

As the Assistant Director for Scheduling and Patron Services, I attend management meetings of the Performance and Operations Division at MSM, and my primary responsibilities are the planning of events, review and revision of existing protocols, and the oversight of large-scale events such as Audition Week which just took place.

The Scheduling and Patron Services part-time staff oversees the daily operations and has various areas of focus that are crucial to the operation of the department.

Gileann Tan is responsible for booking rooms and spaces at MSM as Scheduling and Rentals Associate.

Gileann Tan, our Scheduling and Rentals Associate, is the point person for managing the Scheduling inbox, which as you can imagine, is flooded with requests each day. She processes these requests with the help of our student workers and ensures that the information inputted into our digital management system, ASIMUT, is accurate and up-to-date; she adds in the new requests, adjusts time and locations for existing events, and adds explanatory details for events that are communicated to other departments, such as Facilities for facility setup requests, for example.

Gileann also passes on feedback and concerns we receive about room bookings — this can range from an issue with a piano that the Piano Technical Services department would need to know about or a room assignment needing to be adjusted if a rehearsal requires a larger space.

Clayton Matthews, Scheduling and Recitals Associate, oversees student recital scheduling.

Clayton Matthews, our Scheduling and Recitals Associate, oversees all student recital scheduling from booking the location and time for the 350 recitals held each academic year at MSM to ensuring that all information about each recital is communicated to the MSM department that is involved in the performance.

For example, information is needed by the Production Department for setup and performance requirements; by Patron Services for front-of-house operations; by Distance Learning and Recording Arts for live streaming and recording practicalities; by Media and Communications who produce the recital programs and promote the recitals on the website; and Piano Technical Services for preparing the pianos, including piano tuning.

Veronica Mak, Patron Services Associate, oversees Patron Services operations.

Veronica Mak, Patron Services Associate, oversees the operations of the Patron Services arm of the department. She is responsible for the Patron Services crew schedule, training the 80 students who help with front-of-house (receiving patrons, distributing programs, and helping patrons find seating) as well as managing the operations of the box office (processing ticket requests, assigning seating and press tickets, answering general questions from the public about performances).

Throughout the week she builds out the staff schedule based on the performance schedule listed on ASIMUT, assigns staff, and helps coordinate ticket sales for ticketed events.

Our team of 15 student staff execute the daily tasks of the Scheduling Department, working under the supervision of the full-time and part-time staff. The students’ responsibilities include answering phone calls, processing room and ticket requests, and distribution of room keys to those who may need them.

The daily tasks of the Scheduling Department are executed by a team of 15 student workers, under the supervision of the full-time and part-time staff.

What are the biggest challenges of the department?

The biggest challenge the department faces is figuring out how the “pieces of the puzzle” fit together in a way that is efficient, effective, and fair. In a large music conservatory like the Manhattan School of Music, everyone has need for space whether it be for individual practice sessions, private lessons, or rehearsals for a very large orchestra. The needs range from rooms large enough to accommodate many performers or spaces that are appropriate for specific instruments, for example harpsichord, organ, or multiple pianos.

As the department responsible for overseeing these room assignments, it can be challenging, not only assigning the rooms, but also to do so in a way that is sensitive to everyone’s needs and preferences.

The Scheduling and Patron Service Department assists students, faculty, staff, and concert attendees.

What skill set is needed for this job? How is your background suited for it?

Working in the Scheduling and Patron Services Department, one needs to have a strong attention for detail, good communication skills with the ability to handle high-stress situations, and strong computer skills to be able to effectively navigate the various software platforms the department uses  (ASIMUT, Spektrix, Airtable, Microsoft Teams, etc.). Familiarity with the physical spaces in the building is a big plus as it can be very helpful when it comes to assigning a room that is appropriate.

Another useful skill is the ability to “switch hats” quickly and easily, as question topics my team needs to answer can range from room reservation requests to ticket purchases to policies that govern student recital scheduling.

I graduated from MSM in 2018 which makes me very familiar with the policies that currently govern the School and how the School itself has evolved over the years. I knew many members of the MSM Community as a student and now as a member of the staff, which means I have an established relationship with many members of the Community as well as a working knowledge of many people’s preferences and requirements.

Prior to pursuing music as a field of study full-time, I was a molecular biology and biotechnology student at the University of the Philippines. My scientific background plays a big part in how I approach both creating and adjusting scheduling, as well as box office and front-of-house policies and protocols.

The Scheduling and Patron Services Department front-of-staff workers are critical for the concert-going and performing experience.

What do you love most about this job?

I love that the Scheduling and Patron Services Department is one of the departments at the school that interacts most closely, not only with other staff members in other departments, but also with the students and the teachers of the MSM Community. This constant interaction results in rich personal connections, a deep investment in the MSM Community as a whole, and a sense of pride with the successes of our students.

As active performers in New York, myself and my part-time staff are also in the unique and wonderful position to see our students go from students at an institution to colleagues on the stage.

The core team in the exceptionally busy Scheduling and Patron Service Department

Connect with the Scheduling and Patron Services Department:
917.493.4472 and 917.493.4428

Visit the Scheduling website pages:

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