Conference 2013: Highlights

This year, close to 1,000 orchestra professionals, volunteers and business partners gathered in St. Louis for the League's 2013 National Conference. Here are some of the highlights.

For a full list of sessions and Conference related materials, visit americanorchestras.org/Conference2013.

Who attended Conference 2013? View a list of delegates by name and organization.

Opening Session: Imagining 2023
After-School Programs: Learning from the Getty Orchestras

Apps and Videos from the Field

Building Community Through Music-Making
Check This Out!
Design Thinking: The Art of Being Customer-Focused
Developing Cross-Cultural Competency
Education/Community Engagement Meetings
Engaging College Students in Classical Music
Health and Wellness Programs: Learning from the Getty Orchestras
Imagining 2023: A Conversation with Greg Sandow
Introduction to Mergers and Creative Alliances
Learning from New Ensembles
Raising New Money
Imagining Orchestras 2023: Taking it Home (Closing Session)


Opening Session: Imagining 2023

A feeling of possibility and promise is weaving its way into the fabric of the field. Innovation and experimentation have become the norm, not the exception, for orchestras. Imagining 2023 looks at the next ten years and what's possible—for you and your orchestra.

Keynote address by Jesse Rosen, president and CEO, League of American Orchestras (Read the transcript)

Keynote address by Elizabeth Merritt, founding director, Center for the Future of Museums, American Alliance of Museums




After-School Programs: Learning from the Getty Orchestras

The League's Getty Education and Community Investment Grants Program helped single out orchestras which offer after-school programs that align musical and social goals. These programs are seeing strong results. Learn more about these programs and
explore what you can do in your own community.

Learn more about the League's Getty grants and view a full list of recipients here.

James M. Johnson, president & CEO, Omaha Symphony
Leslie Scheuler, PhD, president, LS Associates, LLC (Presentation) | (Video)
Dalouge Smith, president & CEO, San Diego Youth Symphony & Conservatory (Presentation) | (Video)
Theodore Wiprud, vice president, education, The Sue B. Mercy Chair, New York Philharmonic
Diane Wittry, music director and conductor, Allentown Symphony Orchestra (Presentation)


Building Community Through Music-Making

Artists are finding new ways to redefine community and are approaching cultural diplomacy in ways we rarely consider. We are all looking to build community—break down those cross-cultural boundaries and learn through participation. This session will look at some shining examples, exploring what's possible, doable, affordable, and—most importantly—successful.

Jim Holt, manager, member engagement, League of American Orchestras
Tod Machover, composer
Chris Marianetti, cofounder & artistic director, Found Sound Nation
Marc Thayer, deputy director, Association of American Voices
Kate Wilkinson, executive director, National Music Day Foundation


Check This Out!

Part 1

Orchestras from everywhere will be sharing what’s new and exciting in their worlds. Whether it’s audience development, community and education, artistic initiatives, or something completely different, there is something for everyone at this fast-paced session. Here is a list of people who will present their pioneering ideas at this session:

Katie Cobb, vice president external affairs, The Phoenix Symphony
Rosalie Contreras, vice president of marketing, communications & customer care, Seattle Symphony
Howard Herring, president & CEO, New World Symphony
Craig Hall, vice president for communications, New World Symphony
Ann Huntoon, executive director, Central Wisconsin Symphony Orchestra
Chris Pinelo, vice president, Communications, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra
Kevin Shuck, executive director, Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra
Diane Wittry, music director, Allentown Symphony (Handout)
Simon Woods, executive director, Seattle Symphony
Tim Young, chief executive officer, Reno Philharmonic Association

Part 2

There are so many exciting things happening in the orchestra world, it takes two sessions to bring it all to you! Orchestras from everywhere will be sharing what’s new and exciting in their worlds. Whether it’s audience development, community and education, artistic initiatives, or something completely different, there is something for everyone at this fast-paced session. Here is a list of people who will present their pioneering ideas at this session:

David Dredla, artistic administrator, Toronto Symphony Orchestra
Warren Hyer, executive director, The Central Ohio Symphony
Tod Machover, Muriel R. Cooper Professor of Music & Media, MIT Media Lab (Bio)
Timothy McFadden, orchestra manager, Tulsa Symphony Orchestra
Ronald E. Predl, executive director, Tulsa Symphony Orchestra
Rick Robinson, former Detroit Symphony Orchestra bassist and Mr. CutTime
Susan White, executive director, Amarillo Symphony
Scott Winters, artistic director, Pulse Productions and music director, Minnetonka Civic Orchestra


Design Thinking: The Art of Being Customer-Focused

Taking a cue from businesses like Continuum and IDEO, organizations of all kinds are prioritizing customer satisfaction as a necessity to insure future viability. Orchestras have lots to learn around this practice, including developing quick, inexpensive experiments that let them prototype new experiences that increase customer loyalty. Come prepared to roll up your sleeves, use a different side of your brain, and try something new.

View the Presentation

Dan Buchner, director, Innovation, The Center for Creative Leadership; former vice president of organizational innovation, Continuum


Developing Cross-Cultural Competency

Whether you’re talking about generational perspectives, disabilities, ethnic or religious difference, or gender identification, you can see our communities are rapidly changing. Learning to communicate effectively – and respectfully – is one of the most important things we can do for staff, audiences, community members, artists, and beyond. This session is a must-attend for anyone interacting with others – so yes, this means you!

Presentation

Bo Young Lee, SVP, global diversity & inclusion lead, Marsh Inc.


Education/Community Engagement Meetings

Monday, June 17

Strategic Alignment 

Strategic planning is a periodic necessity, like aligning the wheels on a car. The current team from board to staff to musicians needs to have a single understanding of the role of educati on and community engagement in the institution’s mission and brand. But a strategy is just a reference point: every program and project needs to answer to that strategy

Pam French Blaine, vice president, education and community engagement, The Pacific Symphony Orchestra
Kelly Dylla, vice president of education and community engagement, Seattle Symphony
Aimee Halbruner, director of education and  community engagement, Richmond Symphony

Theodore Wiprud, vice president, education, New York Philharmonic

Administrative Alignment

This presentation demonstrates how the St. Louis Symphony team re-imagined and restructured their administrative structure so that the public relations, communications, education, and community programs departments have been combined as external affairs.

Maureen Byrne, director of community programs, St. Louis Symphony
Adam Crane, vice president for external affairs, St. Louis Symphony
Dacy Gillespie, director of education, St. Louis Symphony

Musician Alignment

Leveraging your musicians’ talents and interests means getting to know them as people. Find out how the STL Symphony is able to have over 85% of musicians participating in community, education, and PR initiatives.

STL Symphony External Affairs department and musicians

Tuesday, June 18

Exploring Cross-Cultural Engagement

The arts have long been known to unite people of different languages, cultures, socioeconomic statuses, and even stages of life. In this session, we’ll take a look at what 2 orchestras do to engage cross-culturally in their communities, and we’ll hear from American Voices, an organization that provides cultural exchange through the performing arts and education in nations emerging from conflict and isolation. What might cross-cultural diplomacy look like in our own communities? What principles and practices might be transferable to the work that we do each day with our diverse youth, families and educators?

Sarah Burman, director of operations and education, South Dakota Symphony Orchestra (Presentation)
Anne Cushing-Reid, senior director of community engagement and learning, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra (Presentation)
Marc Thayer, deputy director, Association of American Voices

Wednesday, June 19

Imagining the Future

Futurist Garry Golden imagines what orchestras and their communities will look like ten years from now.


Engaging College Students in Classical Music

Young adults in college represent a critical segment of the future audience for classical music. The musical experiences they have during these formative years lay the groundwork for a lifetime of musical involvement. What programming and engagement strategies might orchestras use to better reach college students? Learn from new research funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Our discussion will highlight exemplary practices in student engagement, and explore ticketing, marketing, and programming strategies that are likely to surmount the many barriers that stand between college students and a deeper relationship with classical music.

Student Engagement Study

Alan Brown, principal, WolfBrown Associates
Joe Clifford, audience engagement director, Hopkins Center for the Arts Dartmouth College
Hollis Headrick, principal, Arts and Cultural Strategies


Heath and Wellness Programs: Learning from the Getty Orchestras

Through the League's Getty Education and Community Investment Grants Program we've identified orchestras that are doing outstanding work in healthcare settings. Working with hospitals, nursing homes, and rehabilitation centers, these orchestras are
partnering with medical professionals to make a difference in their communities. Learn about these inspiring programs and explore what you can do in your community.

Learn more about the League's Getty grants and view a full list of recipients here.

Jessica Balboni, director of learning programs, League of American Orchestras
Jennifer Barnett, director of education and community partnerships, Knoxville Symphony (Presentation)
Dr. Cynthia Briggs, director, Music Therapy Program, Maryville University (Presentation)
Maureen Byrne, community programs manager, St. Louis Symphony
Lisa Dixon, executive director, Portland Symphony Orchestra (Presentation)
Crystal Weaver, CRC, MT-BC, music therapist, Saint Louis University Cancer Center (Presentation)


Imagining 2023: A Conversation with Greg Sandow

Where will your orchestra be in ten years? How far could you actually go, and what is holding you back? Join a group visioning experience led by Greg Sandow, well-known writer, teacher, and consultant who specializes in fostering fresh approaches to presenting classical music.

Greg Sandow, writer, teacher, change agent


Introduction to Mergers and Creative Alliances

Orchestras and other non-profits are looking at what organizational mergers and creative alliances bring to the table. Some are looking for perceived opportunities for back-office savings, others at expanding the creative landscape. This session will offer a “101” overview of the world of mergers and creative alliances and help you decide if these are the right strategies to explore – or not – for your organization.

Robert Harrington, partner, La Piana Consulting
Paul A. Helfrich, president and CEO, Dayton Performing Arts Alliance
Patricia Richards, board chair, Utah Symphony/Utah Opera
Marc Scorca, president & CEO, OPERA America

This session is made possible by the generous support of an anonymous donor.


Learning from New Ensembles

Orchestras often look to smaller, younger, more flexible and innovative orchestral ensembles for inspiration. Likewise, many of these newer ensembles wish for the advantages of staff, a regular venue, legacy, and access to resources. Even with the common ground of vibrant music-making, what can we learn from these new organizations, and what might they learn from us?

Amy Garapic, co-executive director, Contemporaneous
Beth Perdue Outland, vice president, community engagement and strategic innovation, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra
Jen Richards, managing director; eighth blackbird
Julia Rubio, executive director, Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra
Norman Ryan, vice president, Schott Music Corporation


Raising New Money

We all work hard to demonstrate our larger public value and build the confidence of those that invest in us over time, and funding our work with new dollars is urgent. Opportunities like community and state-based grants and social media fundraising platforms are just a few of the ways this session will help you increase your bottom line.

Dianne Debicella, senior program director, fiscal sponsorship, Fractured Atlas
Emma E. Dunch, president, Dunch Arts, LLC
Cathy Maciariello, principal, HieroResources LLC
Stephanie Pereira, director, art program, Kickstarter
Randall Rosenbaum, executive director, Rhode Island State Council on the Arts


Imagining Orchestras 2023: Taking it Home (Closing Session)

In this interactive session we reflect on Conference 2013 and talk with your colleagues about what you are taking home and what your orchestra will be in 2023!

Garry Golden, futurist, president, Forward Elements Inc.
Elizabeth Merritt, founding director, Center for the Future of Museums, American Alliance of Museums
Mark Niehaus, president and executive director, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra
Graham Parker, general manager, WQXR and vice president, NYPR
Richard Slaney, head of digital, Philharmonia (UK)
Stanford Thompson, CEO, Play On, Philly!, chair of the National Alliance of El Sistema-Inspired Programs