Two Pioneering Diversity Studies from the League

As orchestras across the U.S. demonstrate a new will and energy to ensure that the field is inclusive and representative of the communities they serve, the League of American Orchestras is pleased to share the following pioneering diversity studies.

Click here to quickly download the studies; minimal registration information is requested.

 Racial/Ethnic and Gender Diversity in the Orchestra Field

Racial/Ethnic and Gender Diversity in the Orchestra Field, commissioned by the League with research and data analysis by Dr. James Doeser, reports on gender and ethnic/racial diversity in orchestras among musicians, conductors, staff, executives, and board members.

 Forty Years of Fellowships: A Study of Orchestras’ Efforts to Include African American and Latino Musicians

Forty Years of Fellowships: A Study of Orchestras' Efforts to Include African American and Latino Musicians, commissioned by the League with research and analysis by Nick Rabkin and Monica Hairston O'Connell, is an in-depth examination of orchestras' past efforts to diversify their musician ranks with fellowships for African American and Latino musicians. The report presents program and impact data about diversity fellowships from 1976 to the present day, and explores the perspectives of fellowship program alumni.

 Of and For the Community

Our 2017 report Of and For the Community includes essential demographics statistics for participants in orchestras’ education and community engagement (EdCE) programs. It also explores how orchestras are establishing increasingly dynamic partnerships with the communities they serve, as a basis for meaningful engagement with new and more diverse audiences.  


Both reports offer insights based on rigorous data and careful methodologies. Racial/Ethnic and Gender Diversity in the Orchestra Field uses longitudinal data – going back nearly 40 years in some cases – to identify trends and to ultimately establish a baseline of where we stand today. Forty Years of Fellowships also looks back – examining the efficacy of one of the field's most common strategies for addressing the homogeneity of the musicians who play on stage – while looking forward: Forty Years of Fellowships contains a number of recommendations that could be used to strengthen not only fellowship programs but diversity efforts of all kinds.

These reports build on the League's ongoing commitment to provide leadership and resources in support of orchestras' efforts to better reflect the communities they serve. The League is excited to continue, though all our channels – e.g., our magazine stories, our research, our Diversity and Inclusion Resource Center, major convenings, and partnerships – to serve as a catalyst for change.

Looking back to the League's previous involvement in equity, diversity, and inclusion work, Americanizing the American Orchestra (PDF), a report published in 1993, serves as an initiative for change that challenges the orchestra field to take a collective look beyond the financial condition, to affirm the music and its history of accomplishment, and to build on this history and the orchestral art form to secure the future.