May 23, 2012

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
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LEAGUE OF AMERICAN ORCHESTRAS’67TH NATIONAL CONFERENCE TO HIGHLIGHT INNOVATION AND ADDRESS CHALLENGES, JUNE 5-8, 2012 IN DALLAS, TX 

Keynote Speakers to Include:

Jimmy Settles Jr., United Auto Workers VP, and Marty Mulloy,Ford Motor Company Labor Affairs VP, on How Labor and Management Came Together at the Ford Motor Company;

Jeff DeGraff, Innovation Expert, on Driving Innovation: a Roadmap for Practical Implementation; and Brent Assink, Executive Director, San Francisco Symphony, on A Century of Innovation

Clive Gillinson, Executive and Artistic Director, Carnegie Hall on A Call to Action

New York, NY (May 23, 2012) – The League of American Orchestras’ 67th National Conference, June 5 – 8, 2012 in Dallas, TX, will offer participants a range of creative and provocative approaches to both the challenges and opportunities for orchestras, along with performances by the Dallas and Fort Worth symphony orchestras. Approximately 1,000 professionals and volunteers from across the orchestra field will attend the 2012 National Conference, which is co-presented with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and will open with an introduction on Wednesday, June 6 by Jesse Rosen, League president and CEO, and Blaine Nelson, Chairman of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra Board of Governors.

This year’s Conference will focus on the latest creative thinking and activity around three of the topics - sustainability, innovation and community engagement - addressed by Mr. Rosen in last year’s bold, much-debated speech in Minneapolis . He will give state-of-the-field remarks this year on the morning of Friday, June 8 at the League’s Annual Meeting and Awards Breakfast.

"Orchestras are taking the bull by the horns and are working hard on tough issues," observes Mr. Rosen. “To fuel this important work we are bringing in people from other fields who we think can provide our members with valuable lessons and perspective.”

The sustainability issue moves to the forefront as two leaders from the revitalized auto industry – Jimmy Settles Jr. of the United Auto Workers and Marty Mulloy of the Ford Motor Company – share their insights on How Labor and Management Came Together at the Ford Motor Company, at the opening general session on June 6.  A panel on Friday, June 8 entitled Orchestras Ascending offers varied perspectives from Columbus Symphony Orchestra, Detroit Symphony Orchestra and Phoenix Symphony executives on new models of organizational behavior around financial sustainability, artistic vitality, and community relevance.   A workshop on Thursday, June 7 featuring Dave Brown, vice president and general manager, American Airlines Center, Stephen Cook, president, The Cooking Group, Paul E. Monroe, vice president of marketing, Dallas Mavericks, and Bill Powell, regional vice president, Feld Entertainment, will explore How Live Music and Sports Share the Same Entertainment Challenges, and What We Can Do About It.

Innovation is the topic of consultant Jeff DeGraff's keynote address on Driving Innovation: a Roadmap for Practical Implementation on June 7.  DeGraff’s expertise has been shared with companies including GM, 3M, Apple, American Airlines, Coca-Cola, GE, Johnson & Johnson, LG, Pfizer, and Toyota, and Conference attendees.  Brent Assink, executive director, San Francisco Symphony, will introduce the topic of innovation as seen through the lens of the San Francisco Symphony’s centennial activities and forums. On June 8, artistic creativity will be explored by a panel curated and hosted by young musicians and artistic and administrative leaders from orchestras and beyond including Bill Brittelle, co-founder, New Amsterdam Records; Angela Fuller, principal second violin, Dallas Symphony Orchestra; Scott Harrison, director of patron engagement and executive producer, digital media, Detroit Symphony Orchestra; José Luis Hernández-Estrada, Sistema fellow, New England Conservatory; and Caitlin Sullivan, The Academy alum and cellist, IRIS and The Knights. Also as part of the innovation theme, a new League initiative called Check This Out will premiere this year.  Member orchestras posted on the League’s member intranet descriptions of projects in the areas of audience initiatives, artistic projects, business model experiments or innovations, community and education work, social and digital media, and more.  They then voted online for the most innovative projects. A small group of the winners will be shared via "TED talk"-style (short rapid-fire) presentations on June 8.                          

National Conference 2012 will explore community engagement  in a variety of ways:  on June 8, Carnegie Hall’s Executive and Artistic Director Clive Gillinson will share his Call to Action for an integrated approach to serving music and communities.   The program will also include a short film screening and world-premiere performance of composer Stamos James Martin’s Do They Dream? featuring participants in the Dallas Symphony Orchestra’s Young Strings program, which discovers, develops, and promotes the musical talents of outstanding African-American and Latino string students in the City of Dallas and is currently celebrating its 20th anniversary.  On June 8, Sarah Johnson, director of Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute, and orchestra panelists will lead an interactive workshop entitled Deepening Community Engagement, Earning Public Value.  A panel on June 7 will provide an overview of El Sistema in the United States by Jill Goff, executive director, The Goff Family Foundation, and Erik Holmgren, program director, Sistema Fellows Program, New England Conservatory.  Another presentation on June 7, Getting In On the Act: How Arts Groups are Creating Opportunities for Active Participation, features Alan Brown, principal, WolfBrown, and others as they draw insights from more than 100 nonprofit arts groups, and present a new model for understanding arts engagement

National Conference 2012 performances and concerts will include, on June 6, violinist Jennifer Koh and the Dallas Symphony Orchestra , conducted by Music Director Jaap van Zweden; violinist Chee-Yun and the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Music Director Miguel Harth-Bedoya on June 7; the Oklahoma Youth Orchestra, conducted by Dr. John E. Clinton on June 6; Voices of Change featuring Artistic Director Maria Schleuning on June 7; and, on June 8, Young Strings (detailed in the Community Engagement paragraph, above).  On June 8, a master class conducted by Miguel Harth-Bedoya and the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra will feature four emerging conductors interpreting Dvořák’s Symphony No. 7.  A final concert on June 8 will feature a Cole Porter Tribute with entertainer Michael Feinstein and the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Principal Pops Conductor Marvin Hamllisch.

For a full National Conference 2012 schedule and other details, including online registration, hotel accommodations, and travel discounts, visit http://www.americanorchestras.org/conference_2012/conference_2012.html .

The League of American Orchestras leads, supports, and champions America’s orchestras and the vitality of the music they perform. Its diverse membership of approximately 850 orchestras across North America runs the gamut from world-renowned symphonies to community groups, from summer festivals to student and youth ensembles. The only national organization dedicated solely to the orchestral experience, the League is a nexus of knowledge and innovation, advocacy, and leadership advancement for managers, musicians, volunteers, and boards.  Its conferences and events, award-winning Symphony magazine, website, and other publications inform music lovers around the world about orchestral activity and developments.  Founded in 1942 and chartered by Congress in 1962, the League links a national network of thousands of instrumentalists, conductors, managers and administrators, board members, volunteers, and business partners.  Visit americanorchestras.org .