First Timer Orientation

Conference 2011

Welcome to the League’s National Conference – You’re 1 in 3!

Each year almost a third of delegates to the League’s National Conference are there for the first time, so you are not alone.

The first thing you will notice is the sheer scale: it’s big! Over 1,000 delegates from orchestras and organizations all over the US and overseas attend Conference every year, and at first it can seem a little daunting – but don’t worry, you will soon get the hang of it and realize what a great occasion and opportunity it is. 

Start by looking at the Program page of the Conference website. There you will see the layout of the week and the many different offering available to you.  In particular don’t forget to check out the Constituency Meetings on the My Conference page. Constituency Meetings are designed specifically to gather delegates with similar job descriptions and interests for focused learning and networking.

Here is an overview of what there is to see and do at Conference:

Orchestra Leadership Academy

The Conference begins with two days of learning designed specifically for you.  Whether you’re an executive director, board member, volunteer, staff, or musician there this is a seminar that’s right for you. Consider coming early and taking advantage of these inexpensive courses and make your airfare go further!
See OLA schedule >>

General Sessions

There are three general sessions this year. These are opportunities for us all to come to come together and discuss topics vital to our field. The sessions this year are:

General Session 1 >>

General Session 2 >>

General Session 3 >>

Constituency Meetings

There are many useful and important aspects of Conference, but among the most popular are the Constituency Meetings. The League Conference attracts a broad range of delegates including board members, executive directors, musicians, staff, and volunteers from orchestras of varying sizes from across the country. Constituency Meetings are designed specifically for you to gather with delegates with similar job descriptions, interests, and questions for focused learning and networking. If you do not know your meeting group, you can ask any of the League’s staff in the Registration Area.  For more information of the constituency groups and sessions, click here >>

Toolboxes and Perspectives

This year’s Conference offers a choice of two dozen Toolboxes and Perspectives. Toolboxes are practical, skill-based sessions designed so you can take the learning back and apply it to your orchestra now.  Perspectives are exciting, big picture topics or opportunities that just might change how you see the orchestral field and the role you play in it. Choose which session you’d like to participate in when you register. For descriptions of the Toolboxes, click here and for Perspectives sessions, click here.   

Exhibit Hall

Most delegates will arrive on Tuesday, June 6, in time for the opening of the Exhibit Hall, which is not to be missed. Nearly 100 companies set out their wares in the Hall and you should certainly tour the booths, make new connections, and be aware of all the products and services available to you. Click here>> for a list of Exhibitors.


It’s all about the music, right? This year we have two spectacular orchestras showing off what they do best… and to make it easy, you can purchase tickets to both concerts when you register for Conference. Click here for more info >>

And here’s three things NOT to miss!

  • All-Delegate Reception
  • Tune-Up Party
  • Next : an Under 35 Event – sorry, if you’re over 35, this event is not for you! Click here for more info >>

Tips for a great first Conference:

  • Register as soon as you can to receive all the material you need, including tickets for meals and concerts.
  • Keep your Program Book close at hand—it has all the essential information you will need during the week.
  • Introduce yourself at every opportunity. So much of a successful Conference is the contacts and the new friends you make.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask! League staff and seasoned Conference-goers are there to help and all want you to have a successful visit.
  • Use the Message Board in the Exhibit Area to make contact with fellow delegates.
  • Bring layers - while Dallas will be warm in June, the hotel AC can keep some rooms chilly!
  • Dress comfortably; we recommend business casual.


There is so much we could tell you but you get the idea!  Take a few minutes to read the information on this site and take a look at the 2012 program book when it is published online in mid-May.

Have fun in Dallas - we are looking forward to meeting you!

Any questions? Please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.