Breakout Session at the League of American Orchestras' Essentials of Orchestra Management program

Exploring Essentials

Many call it “orchestra boot camp.” It’s the League of American Orchestras’ Essentials of Orchestra Management course, a ten-day training program for the next generation of orchestra executives. Essentials is an action-packed tour through every facet of running an orchestra, from leadership and artistic vitality to operational models and community engagement. The long-running program gives emerging orchestra managers keen insight into the real-life opportunities and challenges that orchestras face, and a direct connection to the movers and shakers in all facets of today’s orchestra world. And it provides an ongoing pipeline of new leaders for the arts; Essentials graduates currently lead orchestras and arts group throughout the United States. The latest editions of Essentials took place February 4-13 at the League offices in New York, attended by 30 highly talented administrative staff members and musicians from orchestras and other arts organizations. They took part in presentations, breakout discussions, simulation exercises, and one-on-one mentoring sessions with leaders in the field, including Seminar Director Brent Assink, executive director of the San Francisco Symphony.

SymphonyNOW caught up with six of this year’s Essentials participants—Caleb Bailey, T. Hampton Dohrman, Diane Hinckley, Christine Honolke, Audrey Kwong, and Jason Pyszkowski—to hear about their motivations for going into orchestra management, their views of the roles of orchestras in contemporary society, and their Essentials experience.

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