News and Publications

The League produces several e-newsletters for members on topics such as industry news, youth orchestra updates, volunteer news and more.

Latest News from the League

In London at the recent Association of British Orchestras Convention, League president and CEO Jesse Rosen introduced a panel titled New Directions for Orchestras: The USA – What’s Going On? His speech gave a wide-ranging view of the state of the orchestra field. Read the speech here.

Essentials of Orchestra Management: It's Orchestra Bootcamp!

Essentials of Orchestra Management, a 10-day intensive talent development program offered by the League of American Orchestras, takes place at the League’s New York offices from February 4 – 13. Twenty-six participants from within the orchestra field and beyond examine all facets of the orchestra field, learning from a faculty of orchestra, organizational change, diversity, and negotiation experts, among others. Read the full release here.

League Launches New Initiative to Support Women Composers

The League of American Orchestras has announced a new initiative to increase opportunities for early-career women composers through a series of orchestral readings and commissions, made possible by the generous support of the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation Program for Commissioning Women in the Performing Arts. Read the full release here.

Free Live Webinar: Capital Campaign Trends and Fundamentals for Success
Thursday, March 13, 2014, 1:00-2:00pm EST

Capital campaigns are an important part of the fundraising cycle for any orchestra, large or small. While many of the tried and true principles of effective campaign fundraising remain the same, changing demographics and global and industry trends have required that orchestras innovate and strategies evolve. This webinar will provide an overview of recent trends in philanthropy and capital campaign fundraising, with an emphasis on symphonies and orchestras, while also sharing the essential fundamentals and tools needed to plan a comprehensive campaign. Participants will hear best practices for creating a realistic timetable, drafting a compelling case for support, and recruiting the right volunteer leadership, as well as develop a solid understanding of how it all fits together to form a winning plan.

Bridget Keane, Corporate Vice President, CCS; Preston Walton, Assistant Vice President, CCS

Register now for this free webinar.

Apply by March 3 for the 2013-14 ASCAP Awards

We are now accepting applications for the 2013-14 ASCAP Awards for Adventurous Programming. This year’s application deadline is March 3, 2014.

Each year the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP) and the League offer American orchestras Awards for Adventurous Programming, recognizing concerts that stimulate the audience, build the repertoire, and strengthen support for new work in this country and abroad. The awards recognize orchestras of all sizes whose most recent programming demonstrates a strong commitment to contemporary music.

Please click here for guidelines and applications. If you have any questions, please contact James Barry at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 212 262 5161.

Submit Your Nominee for the Helen M. Thompson Award by March 3

The 2014 Helen M. Thompson Award will be given to an outstanding early-career music director who has exhibited excellence and dedication to orchestras through exceptional leadership, artistry, and a commitment to organizational vitality. Nominees should be able to demonstrate superior talent and possess potential for continued artistic growth.

The award will be presented at the League’s 2014 National Conference in June, and includes a cash prize of $2,500.

Submit your nominee today! Deadline for submission is March 3, 2014. Please remember that although you are amazing, no self-nominations will be accepted. Visit for nomination details.

Emerging Leaders Program participants announced

Seven orchestra administrators between the ages of 25 and 35 will participate in the League of American Orchestras’ newly created, two-year Emerging Leaders Program. The program participants were selected based on their potential to significantly impact the orchestra field as future leaders. Read the full release here.

Register Now for Mid-Winter Managers Meeting Weekend

Join executive directors from groups 1-8 and youth orchestras at the Mid-Winter Managers Meeting Weekend, January 25-27.

In the keynote address, Evolving Digital Strategy for American Orchestras, Elizabeth Scott, former vice president for programming and business affairs for Major League Baseball, and now chief media and digital officer for Lincoln Center, will share her experience, including moving from the for-profit to the non-profit side in the media arena, and suggest some new ways of thinking about digital opportunities we can’t afford to miss.

The two seminar being offered in conjunction with the Mid-Winter Managers Meetings is Driving Seismic Change: Keeping Your CEO Foot to the Pedal. Specific details about the meeting schedule, seminar, registration, and scholarships can be found at

Getty Education and Community Investment Grant recipients for 2013-14

Congratulations to the 23 orchestras who are recipients of this year’s Getty Education and Community Investment Grants for 2013-14. The grants fund new and established innovative community programs such as in-school and after-school programs, lifelong learning opportunities, and health and wellness initiatives. See a full list of recipients.

Apply Now! 2013-14 MetLife Governance Grants for Board Development

The League is now accepting applications for the 2013-14 MetLife Governance Grants for Board Development. Made possible by a generous grant from MetLife Foundation, these grants will provide financial assistance to orchestra boards trying to strengthen their governance practices. Grants ranging from $2,500 to $7,500 will be awarded to up to seven orchestras. Funding can be used for facilitators or consultants, or other professional development opportunities (seminars, classes) that the board, as a whole, wants to participate in as a means of strengthening their governance understanding.

Please visit for more information and to apply; the deadline to apply is October 15, 2013.

Composer Residencies from New Music USA and the League

New Music USA and the League of American Orchestras are eager to find new ways for composers and orchestras to work together. With that in mind, we are extending League members an exciting new opportunity through the New Partnerships dimension of our Music Alive program.

New Partnerships gives composers and orchestras a chance to work directly together. We work alongside orchestras accepted into the program to match each with a composer chosen from a curated list. The program provides the funds for a one-week residency around the performance of a pre-existing (though not necessarily previously performed) work. The residency week can take place anytime between the fall of 2014 and the spring of 2016.

The first step is simple—just let us know you’re interested in taking part. If your orchestra is chosen to participate, we expect to be able to offer you a possible composer match in the first quarter of 2014. We anticipate awarding at least ten residencies.

To let us know your orchestra is interested, just click here.

Essentials of Orchestra Management. It’s like orchestra boot camp.

Managing an orchestra today takes strength, dedication, perseverance and a passion for music. Essentials of Orchestra Management is a ten-day journey that will prepare you or a promising member of your staff for the challenges orchestras are facing today and tomorrow. Being armed with the vital skills needed to be a great leader is the foundation for a great organization.

While orchestra management will be the toughest job you’ll ever love, Essentials is what you need to excel.

We are now accepting applications for Essentials 2014 taking place in New York City, February 4-13. Only the truly passionate need apply by November 29, 2013. For more information or to apply visit or email Jessica Balboni at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

New Huffington Post blog on Provocative Choices for Orchestras

In his latest post, Jesse Rosen compares two provocative visions for the future of orchestras: one from a futurist who spoke at the 2013 Conference, the other from a star in the entrepreneurial world of new music.

As always, comments on the Huffington Post site allow us to convey our messages about these important issues to a wider audience, as does your passing this link on to colleagues and friends. Thanks for your support!

With Imagining 2023 Theme, League of American Orchestras’ 68th National Conference Explores Future of Orchestras

New York, NY (July 1, 2013) – Imagining the future of orchestras through provocative sessions with futurist thinkers, industry leaders, and representatives of smaller, community-based music-making organizations, nearly 1000 professionals and volunteers from across the orchestra field attended the League of American Orchestras 68th National Conference, June 18-20, 2013 in St. Louis, MO. (read entire release)

See the Highlights from Conference!

The League's 2013 National Conference was a huge success! Close to 1,000 orchestra professionals, volunteers and business partners gathered in St. Louis for the League's 2013 National Conference. You can check out some of the highlights here, including video of Jesse Rosen's keynote address, a group visioning experience led by writer Greg Sandow, and an address by Elizabeth Merritt, founding director for the Center for the Future of Museums at the American Alliance of Museums.

For a full list of sessions and Conference related materials, visit

Applications for Round 2 of the League's Getty Grants are now open!

The League, supported by the Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation, is pleased to announce Round 2 of the Getty Education and Community Investment Grants. These one-year grants, ranging from $10,000 to $40,000, will be awarded to orchestras for activities in fiscal year 2014. This is a new funding cycle; all orchestras meeting the guidelines are encouraged to apply.

The Getty Grants will invest in:

  • enhancing and deepening established programs that have been in place for three or more years and have demonstrated measurable success; or
  • planning, developing, and implementing innovative new initiatives that strengthen community ties and respond to community needs.

Please review the application guidelines and then complete the pre-application, due August 15. Orchestras will hear back by September 15, and for those orchestras invited to move to the full application phase, final applications will be due October 15.

Grants cannot be used to:

  • create new organizations
  • support single, one-off events or activities that do not represent the development or support of long-term relationships (such as assembly programs, holiday concerts, etc.)

For a snapshot of orchestras that have received support in Round 1 of the program, click here. For more information, contact Polly Kahn at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 646 822 4024.