First-Timer Orientation

Welcome to the League’s National Conference!

The first thing you will notice about the League Conference 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.  This year’s Conference will continue what started last year: frank, open discussions about the state of the economy, the importance of our communities, and most notably, envisioning the future of the field.

From the vibrant discussions happening about the future of orchestras at to the Town Hall Opening Session featuring the provocative Ben Cameron to a dynamic keynote address from Russell Willis Taylor, this year’s Conference will not shy away from exploring the tough challenges we face.

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

Opening Session

This year’s Opening Session will be our most exciting in recent memory. Asking the question “Revolution or Evolution: How must orchestras change to add greater value to American life?”, we open the door to open discussions about the state of the economy, the importance of our communities, and most notably, envisioning the future of the field.

Beginning with the keynote address, Art at the Crossroads, from the fiery and charismatic Ben Cameron (Doris Duke Foundation) followed by an interactive Town Hall, moderated by Eric Booth, teaching artist extraordinaire, we invite Conference delegates to weigh in with their thoughts, questions, and ideas. History tells us even the simplest of ideas can start a revolution – Orchestra R/Evolution may be the first step in the next era for American orchestras.

The debate has begun at and culminates at the Opening Session on June 16 - which for the first time, will be streamed live. One thousand delegates in Atlanta and thousands more around the world will be part of the most invigorating conversation about orchestras in years.

Orchestra Leadership Academy

Let us help you invest in the future! The League is committed to recognizing and encouraging effective and visionary leadership in the orchestra profession and for the performing arts.  Orchestra Leadership Academy seminars are offered prior to conference and serve as a great lead-in to the rest that Conference has to offer.   From building a sustainable business model to building a stronger community, topics for the OLA seminars are broad and exciting.  Check out the full list of seminars and descriptions here.

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.


Hear thoughtful presentations from experts on big issues, engage in active problem solving and exploration in small groups, and, in many cases, explore ideas that will inform your work back home.   Perspectives are multi-faceted explorations designed to provide a big-picture look at specific issues. Whichever two you choose, there is something for everyone’s interest and need.  For the full list of perspectivea, click here.

Exhibit Hall

Most delegates will arrive on Wednesday, June 16, 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. (Full Exhibitor list)


Don’t miss out on the concerts and musical events throughout Conference.  For a complete schedule and details, click here.

Three things NOT to miss!

  • Tune-Up Party – hosted by the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Wednesday, June 16th, 10pm-12am.
  • Peer-to-Peer Roundtables - full details here.
  • Next : an Under 35 Event – sorry, if you’re over 35, this event is not for you! Check it out here!

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 Atlanta will be warm in June, the hotel AC can keep some rooms chilly!
  • Dress comfortably; we recommend business casual.
  • Have fun in Atlanta, we are looking forward to meeting you!