An archive of all issues of Volunteer Notes published prior to the current year.
Volunteer Notes Fall 2013
Welcome, as the 2013-2014 fall season begins and the orchestra year is in full swing!
2014 Gold Book Online Awards – Submissions Closed!
50th Anniversary Gift to the League
Notes from the Field: Archiving Your History
Volunteers Online Discussion Group at League360
Once you are logged in click on “Groups,” then search for "Volunteers," select that group and then click on "Join Group." The more people who join and participate in this group the more valuable it becomes! Encourage everyone in your volunteer association to take advantage of this powerful resource. Beginning discussions include education concerts and fund-raising ideas. You can start a new discussion or add to an existing one.
Not sure if you have a login for League360? No problem, just email Jim at
, he can help you set-up or reset you username and password. Please include your name, title (if appropriate), the name of your orchestra, and the name of your volunteer association in your email.
Planning: Save the Date!
2014 Participating Orchestras
2014 Emerging Artists Listing
Include the rising young artists on your roster in the annual Emerging Artists listing for the Winter (January) 2014 issue of Symphony. Don’t miss this opportunity! Submit your emerging artists listings by October 25.
The Emerging Artists listing will co-exist with Symphony’s annual directory of member orchestras and business partners, and is used as a year-round resource for orchestra professionals. Your basic listing is free, but you can also make your artists stand out in this year’s Emerging Artists list by purchasing an expanded listing for only $150 for one artist or $100 each for multiple artists on your roster! This expanded listing includes a 30-word description of your artist, a headshot, and artist manager phone number.
Emerging artists eligible for this listing must meet the following criteria:
- Have been signed to your agency since January 1, 2011
- Be represented by your firm as of January 1, 2014
- Have been under professional management for no longer than 5 years
- Have experience performing professionally with orchestras
- Be primarily classical artists (as opposed to Pops)
- Be an instrumentalist, vocalist, or conductor.
Exceptions will be considered for non-profit artist management companies whose primary focus is discovering and nurturing new talent (ie: CAG, Astral, and YCA).
Please fill out the attached Emerging Artists form indicating your artists’ names and instruments, and be sure to take advantage of an expanded Emerging Artists listing! Once again, this form is due back no later than October 25.
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.
Jesse was recently named one of 2013's 50 Most Powerful and Influential People in the Nonprofit Arts! Read about Jesse and some of the other leaders who are making an impact in the arts.
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 at the League's 2013 National Conference. Read the transcript of this speech.
League President and CEO Jesse Rosen shares some of the ways orchestras are realigning their strategy to meet community needs and reach out to a diverse and changing population. Presented at the League's 2012 National Conference. Read the transcript of this speech.
The warning signals have been there for years: persistent deficits, less-than-packed houses, concerned patrons and funders questioning continued support, communities in transition asking more of us than we ably deliver, and too many concerts amidst changing and shrinking demand.
Despite great sacrifices from musicians and staffs and stepped up giving from boards and volunteers, too many orchestras --not all, for sure--but far too many, are in critical condition. We can and must act -- first, by speaking openly and frankly about our challenges, and next by looking deeply at how we operate. Presented at the League's 2011 National Conference. Read the transcript of this speech.
Audio and Video
Volunteer Notes Summer 2013
This is my last article as the President of the Volunteer Council. I have enjoyed serving you. This, however, is not my last Conference! I am just beginning, and I plan to attend as many future Conferences as possible to assure that I continue to learn and share current ideas with my orchestra. Will you join me as a life-long learner?
What is the most outstanding best practice your organization employs in communicating with members and other stakeholders? The winning answers included:
And, here are some runners-up for top answers:
What did we hear by the end of the session? With little exception, organizations around the country are turning to more sophisticated electronic solutions to engage their members. Online newsletters were almost universal – frequency is perhaps the main difference. Most groups appeared to send out the traditional quarterly newsletter, while a few have identified a need for a monthly/bi-monthly communication. The use of e-blasts for announcements seems almost universal, as well.
Click here to view video
Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s RIVERS FestivalInspired by Music Director Riccardo Muti’s passionate concern for the environment, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association (CSOA) convened in the spring of 2013 a multi-week, multi-genre festival entitled RIVERS: Nature. Power. Culture. During the festival, the CSOA led a conversation among nearly 20 Chicago institutions examining the significance of rivers in music and culture, the impact they have had throughout history and their importance. To see a dedicated website for the RIVERS Festival, click here.
Dayton Performing Arts Alliance
This video news release was used to announce the formation of the Dayton Performing Arts Alliance through the 2012 merger of the Dayton Ballet, Dayton Opera, and Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra. In the video, featured speakers Paul Helfrich, Neal Gittleman, Karen Russo Burke, Tom Bankston, Mike Parks, and Jeremy Trahan give their perspectives on the merger as administrators, artistic directors, funders, and board members. They discuss how the merger came about, challenges within the process, and what the Dayton Performing Arts Alliance hopes to achieve through this new, blended approach to the performing arts. The six-minute video was produced by Sam Manavis of ManaVision, Inc.
|The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra embarked on its “One City, One Symphony” initiative in the fall of 2012, capturing the imagination of thousands from throughout the region through listening parties, concerts, live video feeds, digital downloads, and radio and television broadcasts. The project garnered huge excitement around the November performance of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony conducted by Music Director Designate Louis Langrée. The CSO announced the project to the community in the above video, which features CSO musicians, and ordinary people on the street singing the famous “Ode to Joy” theme while embarking on everyday activities throughout the city. The video has received over 5,900 views on YouTube to-date.|
|In addition, the Cincinnati Symphony produced a number of short videos, including the one below that captures their subscriber/donor/patron perspectives. These were produced for a patron appreciation event and will be used throughout the upcoming season.|
Technology News of Note
Apple is pushing to complete licensing deals with music companies so it can reveal its “iRadio” service, a Pandora-like feature that would tailor streams of music to each user’s taste. The service is expected to be free to users and supported by advertising and would represent a relatively late arrival by the company into what has become a fast-growing — if low-margin — sector of the music business. Pandora has more than 70 million regular users, the vast majority of whom do not pay, and similar features have been introduced by Google, Spotify and the radio company Clear Channel Communications. But, until recently, Apple has made little progress with record labels and music publishers, which have been seeking higher royalty rates and guaranteed minimum payments. (Source: New York Times)
iTunes Radio is the new Apple streaming radio service that superficially resembles the US-based Pandora (200 million registered users), Sweden's worldwide hit Spotify (6 million paying users, 24 million active worldwide), and any of a dozen similar "music streaming" services. You don't own or buy the songs, you listen to them in a stream, which can be tailored to your existing tastes. For each play, a little money is handed over (officially, 0.085p per track in the UK, and over 10 times higher, around 0.96c per track, in the US, at least for Spotify). What the other streaming services have discovered repeatedly is that it's hard to make such a service profitable, because the music costs don't fall as they grow – in web terms, it doesn't "scale". Apple, on the other hand, could make a large amount of money, as its streaming music system could strengthen its relationships with its users, support iPhone and iPad sales and likely lead to more music buying. (Source: The Guardian)
Here are seven steps to a social media strategy for your business.
#1: Determine Your Business Objectives for Social Media
#2: Know Your Audience
#3: Choose Your “Hot Buttons” (the primary areas for which you want your business to be known)
#4: Stake Your Social Media Turf
#5: Be Strategic in Setting Your Social Media Engagement
#6: Plan Your Resource Use
#7: Measure Your Social Media Results
(Source: Social Media Examiner)
Online fundraising isn’t a fad, but accounts for seven-percent of total fundraising and has seen double-digit growth over the past four years. Online fundraising has also proven to be an extremely effective donor acquisition vehicle. Whether you’re using powerful online fundraising and marketing software or keeping it simple, it’s imperative that you take online fundraising seriously. This article takes a look at the fifteen most effective donor acquisition and online fundraising techniques used by top nonprofits. (Source: NP Engage)
Antennas aren’t just for grandma’s old TV anymore: 19.3 percent of all US TV households get their TV fix from free over-the-air broadcasts, rather than from pay cable or satellite distributors. This means that 22.4 million households representing 59.7 million Americans get their TV for free. (Source: GIGAOM)
Industry analyst Mark Mulligan’s upcoming book ‘Meltdown’ aims to use the lessons from digital music’s past to make its future more profitable for artists, rights holders and digital services alike by creating “streaming artist subscriptions.” The concept is that users would pay a small monthly fee – say $/€1 – for a month’s worth of artist content on top of the regular monthly subscription fee. “The idea being that for each artist someone subscribes to, they (sic) get their entire back catalogue with editorial features like musical influences and making-of-the-album content; exclusive and rare tracks (“this might require some rarer content being withdrawn from the main service”); acoustic sessions, gig livestreams and music videos; and non-music content like photo shoots, artwork, interviews, backstage footage and webchats.” (Source: BBC)
Google has announced that they’re adding an auto-filtering tool to everyone’s e-mail inbox. Gmail, which is the primary e-mail application for 60% of consumers, will now auto sort your incoming email into four main tabs:
- Primary (your main feed)
- Social (your Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. messages)
- Updates (confirmations and receipts) and
“Promotions” is for discount offers which, unless the consumer agrees otherwise, will include Telecharge, Ticketmaster, and every other e-direct response initiative our industry uses. What’s the problem? Well, all of those lovely emails that we pay big bucks for won’t be visible in 60% of consumer’s primary feeds. In other words . . . open rates are gonna go down . . . and sales are going to go down. (Source: The Producers Perspective)
It has been only about 10 days since video on Instagram debuted, and Twitter-owned competitor Vine is already losing ground. Marketing Land used analytics tool Topsy to compare Instagram versus Vine link shares on Twitter. It found that Vine shares on Twitter dropped almost 40 percent between June 19 and June 20 — the day Instagram video launched. (Source: Mashable)
The New York Philharmonic said that it will package its season-ending production, "A Dancer's Dream," featuring two Stravinsky ballets, for international cinema distribution this September. The concerts, which will take place June 27-29, are to feature fantastical stagings of Stravinsky's Petrushka and A Fairy's Kiss with puppets, dancers and video projection. The transmissions will come through a deal with Specticast, a company that distributes scores of concerts, ballets, rock shows and other events to movie theaters and other venues. This is the New York Philharmonic's second cinema venture, following on a 2011 production of Stephen Sondheim's Company. The orchestra says the screenings will take place in movie theaters, arts venues, retirement homes, libraries and schools across the U.S. Internationally, the concert will be seen in the UK, Canada, Russia, Italy, Germany, Brazil, Argentina and Mexico. The orchestra said about 100 theaters have signed on, with more expected. Ticket prices are expected to be around $15. (Source: WQXR)
Pandora, the biggest online radio service, said the number of U.S. listeners in cars topped 2.5 million, more than four times the number it reported a year earlier. About half of all listening takes place in autos, making it a crucial battleground for the $15 billion local radio advertising market -- but also for the efforts of digital newcomers such as Pandora. Traditional radio broadcasters, meanwhile, are urgently debating their fear that some automakers may eventually stop equipping cars and trucks with AM/FM tuners at all. (Source: Ad Age)
Broadcast Music Inc (BMI) is suing Pandora Media after the Internet radio company rejected a request to pay a higher license fee for playing songs across various devices, including mobile phones. In a lawsuit filed with the Manhattan federal court, BMI said it had proposed an increase in Pandora's fees "consistent with market rates to reflect the explosive growth of the Internet music streaming marketplace."
BMI collects license fees on behalf of over 600,000 affiliated songwriters, composers and music publishers and distributes them as royalties to those members whose works have been performed. One of the main challenges facing the decade-old Pandora is the rising cost of licensing music, which grows as more people tune in. The company had about 70.8 million active listeners at the end of May. (Source: Reuters)
Since the advent of file sharing, musicians have come up with a multitude of novel ways to fund their work, such as Pikup, the app that tracks users’ music listening habits and remunerates artists accordingly. Using the crowdfunding model, new startup Patreon enables fans to automatically donate money each time online content creators upload a new piece of work. (Source: Springwise)
The pianist Krystian Zimerman recently marched off stage at a recital given at the Ruhr Piano Festival in Essen, after discovering an audience member was recording his performance. He left only to return and “lambast the destruction of music by YouTube.” In an essay in Limelight Magazine, Henry Norman questions whether Zimerman’s criticism of YouTube’s impact on classical music is misplaced. Norman says YouTube is “the primary medium through which I access the genre. This, I believe, is not an uncommon state of affairs, representing reality amongst many of my fellow 20-something student colleagues.” He highlights the economic success of Valentina Lisitsa, the so-called “Justin Bieber of Classical Piano”, who found that offering her performances on YouTube for free led to an increase in DVD sales and a Decca contract, Norman suggests that YouTube is anything but a destructive force. It can, in fact, pay dividends. (Source: Limelight Magazine)
Closing arguments for the Department of Justice’s antitrust suit against Apple concluded recently, although U.S. District Judge Denise Cote is not expected to reach a decision for another couple of months. If you’ve found the case difficult to follow, you’re not alone. Still it’s worth getting a handle on the basics from this article in Salon, because the suit — or, more precisely, the business deals behind it — have changed book publishing in significant ways. Furthermore, Judge Cote’s decision could have impact well beyond the book industry. (Source: Salon)