Engaging New and Existing Audiences Through Digital Learning Playgrounds: A Design Workshop for Orchestra Professionals
Classical music organizations are increasingly communicating with their audiences using digital media. But social media platforms have been used primarily for one-way communication, rather than as a means of providing sustained engagement with the music and the organization. This Pre-Conference seminar will invite participants to think through ways they might engage their audiences through digital play technologies via a mini design workshop.
Over the past three years, the NYU Music Experience Design Lab (MusEDLab) has co-designed and developed a series of digital learning playgrounds together with orchestra and chamber music partners including the New York Philharmonic, Chamber Music Society of Detroit, and the Detroit Symphony. These tools are designed specifically to reach younger and novice audiences, inviting them to spend extended time learning and playing with music. Recently, Playgrounds was established to bring these technologies to orchestras and classical music organizations around the world.
Speakers: Dr. S. Alex Ruthmann, director, NYU Music Experience Design Lab; Andre Kostiw-Gill, founder, Playrounds
This Pre-Conference seminar is designed for anyone who has to consider the artistic work of their orchestra: executive directors, conductors, musicians, board members, and staff. It will survey everything from planning to programming and execution. Beginning with vision and overarching goals, we’ll look at what goes into making programs and cohesive seasons, considering the creative, practical, and audience dimensions. Communicating programs and seasons effectively to internal and external audiences is an essential part of successful programming. Telling the story, generating excitement among the staff, and arousing the interest of the press, community, and audiences will be covered. And finally, we’ll look at putting it all together: working with guest artists and artist managers, setting rehearsal orders, creating compelling program notes, and more.
Speakers: Martha Gilmer, chief executive officer, San Diego Symphony Orchestra
Presented by the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, this Pre-Conference seminar is an introductory course on current ideas and best practices in collective bargaining and negotiation. Exploring the dynamics of human behavior and other aspects of the collective bargaining process, the expert presenters will cover key skills necessary to be an effective bargaining team member and discuss how to prepare for various stages of the negotiation process.
*There is no charge for the seminar; a $40 fee per registrant is applied to defray food and beverage expenses.
All staff from orchestras receiving support through the Futures Fund are invited to attend this free convening and knowledge exchange. Grantees should watch their email for an invitation.
The American Orchestras' Futures Fund is made possible by a generous grant from the Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation
Music Alive is a national three-year-composer-orchestra residency program of the League of American Orchestras and New Music USA. More than visiting artists, the composers in residence are centrally embedded within their orchestras, and their roles are incorporated directly into the orchestras’ operations, programming and curatorial decisions, and activities in their communities. Composers who have participated or currently participate in the Music Alive program are encouraged to attend this free convening and knowledge exchange. Program participants should watch their email for an invitation.
Music Alive is made possible due to a lead grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, with additional support from The Aaron Copland Fund for Music, the Francis Goelet Charitable Lead Trusts, The Amphion Foundation, and The ASCAP Foundation Bart Howard Fund.
Audience research can be immensely valuable, revealing the behavior and interests of your orchestra’s audience. But making sense of the results—all that data, all those stats—and determining how to proceed can be daunting. This two-part Pre-Conference seminar cuts through the clutter to show how audience research and cost-benefit analysis can give you fresh insights and understanding of your audiences—new and experienced—and how to address the problems of audience attrition, churn, and aging.
Part I: Using Data to Inform Audience-Building Strategies: Emerging Insights
In the first part of this Pre-Conference seminar, Bahia Ramos, director of arts at The Wallace Foundation, will share insights from The Wallace Foundation’s Building Audiences for Sustainability initiative, which over the past four years sought to answer the question: “How can arts organizations build new audiences while retaining current ones; how can these efforts contribute to financial health; and can the efforts be sustained?” Based on an analysis of 25 arts organizations’ ticketing data, Ramos and Wallace Foundation representatives will share some emerging trends consistent across the grantees; the deeper questions that were prompted; and the conversations that the data has sparked on the tradeoffs arts groups face when deciding which audience-building efforts are “worth it” for their organization. Orchestra professionals are encouraged to join a conversation about what your organization’s data can reveal, and how to think through audience-building efforts that are aligned with your organization’s values and purpose.
Part II: The Long Haul Model: A New Approach to Audience Development that Solves the Problems of Attrition, Churn, and Aging
Next, we’ll explore how one orchestra has rethought its approaches to understanding audiences—and forged new success. After a calculated change in audience development strategy five seasons ago, the California Symphony has doubled the number of tickets sold annually and nearly quadrupled the donor base. In this workshop, California Symphony Executive Director Aubrey Bergauer will share the details of The Long Haul Model, a disciplined approach across every segment in the database—from first time buyers to longtime donors—to open up the pipeline at all levels of patron engagement. You’ll learn how to implement the model, where to begin, when the model scales up to bigger budget sizes, why the board should care, and what the additional revenue looks like for your organization so that you can in turn better serve the art and the mission
Whether they are “technically-inclined” or not, this Pre-Conference seminar will both familiarize participants with no-cost website analytic tools, and impart the skills required to use them. At morning’s end, they’ll have a clear understanding of how to determine whether their organization’s website is or isn’t performing, and how to improve it in either case.
We’ll spend the first two hours focusing on Google Analytics (GA), a free and powerful tool orchestras can use to learn how users behave on their websites. We’ll cover how to navigate the platform, how to create key reports, and how to use more advanced functionality in GA to derive maximum benefit for the organization. Participants will engage in an interactive activity to identify key performance indicators (KPIs) for measuring overall website success.
Next, we’ll tour Data Studio, a new tool from Google that can be used to visualize Google Analytics data in easy to understand dashboards and reports. We will walk through how to build a dashboard using the KPIs identified in the Google Analytics segment.
Lastly, we’ll explore the benefits of data-driven decision-making derived from the employment of Google Tag Manager. And we’ll introduce the world of iterative optimization and A/B testing with tools like Google Optimize.
Regardless of their current technical proficiency, seminar participants will leave knowing what to do and how to do it. They’ll be inspired to make their organization’s digital infrastructure the best it can be.
Speakers: Jess Bergson, senior analyst, Capacity Interactive
Orchestra leaders must develop strategic plans that uniquely address the growing diversity in their communities, create robust fundraising programs to sustain and advance their organization, and develop their boards to meet their most critical needs for leadership. Sometimes board development, strategic planning, and fundraising efforts do not function in harmony for optimal results. This Pre-Conference seminar reveals best practices for bringing these three critical functions together to meet the goals of the organization.
From board recruiting and development to creating a fundable strategic plan, to setting the philanthropic plan in motion, Bob Swaney will help participants create a virtual cycle between board development, strategic planning, and fundraising that will help set the stage for the organization’s next growth cycle.
Speakers: Bob Swaney, founder & CEO, Robert Swaney Consulting
All staff from orchestras receiving support through The Catalyst Fund are invited to attend this free convening and knowledge exchange. Grantees should watch their email for an invitation.
Speakers: Liz Alsina, founder, Canarii Solutions
Catalyst Fund is made possible by a generous grant from the The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
The League of American Orchestras’ Women Composers Readings and Commissions program is in partnership with the American Composers Orchestra and is supported by the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation. All composers who have received commissions through this program are encouraged to attend this free convening and knowledge exchange. Commission recipients should watch their email for an invitation.
Made Possible by the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation
Each season, hundreds of conductors apply for open music director positions with American orchestras, large and small. Why do candidates advance? What happens behind the scenes? Join us for an in-depth look into the music director search process. The session will begin with a comprehensive overview, led by Henry Fogel, who will draw on his experience leading countless music director searches across the country. Dr. Julius P. Williams, president, Conductors Guild, and professor, Berklee College of Music, and Christopher Blair, president-elect, Conductors Guild and chief scientist and principal consultant, Akustiks, will provide the conductors’ perspective. We’ll also hear from three orchestra leaders who have just completed, or are in the final stages of a search, and what went into making a decision that not only affected their orchestra, but their community. The session will close with roundtable discussions, where participants can ask panelists questions in an intimate setting.
Speakers: Christopher Blair, president-elect, Conductors Guild, Inc.; David Fisk, executive director, Richmond Symphony; Henry Fogel, dean emeritus, Roosevelt University Chicago College of Performing Arts; Brittany Hall, executive director, Binghamton Philharmonic; Russell Jones, president & CEO, Stamford Symphony; Julius Williams, president, Conductors Guild, Inc.
Cost: $255 including Conductors Guild members
For Nashville Symphony Tickets
If you purchased concert tickets to the Nashville Symphony concert for Monday, June 3 at 7:00pm, the voucher you received when you printed your badge may be redeemed for tickets. A representative from the Nashville Symphony box office will be in the Exhibit Area to collect your voucher and issue tickets for the performance.
Any tickets not redeemed during these hours will be held in the Nashville Symphony box office and may be picked up before the performance, however, we strongly encourage you to exchange your vouchers for tickets during the allotted hours in the Exhibit Area.
This orientation for trustees of orchestras is a great way to learn more about what content has been programmed throughout the conference with trustees in mind. For both new and returning conference attendees, this session will help you make the most of your Conference experience and will also help you to learn more about the resources and tools that the League of American Orchestras provides to orchestras boards across the country.
Guerrero will lead us, as he has led the Nashville Symphony, on an exploration of what it means to be an orchestra in the America of today. As a champion of new music, he has commissioned and performed dozens of works by American composers from an extraordinary array of stylistic influences. Guerrero will explore how musical convictions must inform an orchestra’s authentic connection to its community and reflect an active cultivation of diverse talent.
Additionally, students engaged in the Nashville Symphony’s Accelerando initiative will perform during the Opening Plenary, premiering a new work by composer Christopher Farrell. The Accelerando initiative is an intensive music education program designed to prepare gifted young students of diverse ethnic backgrounds to pursue music at the collegiate level and beyond. Accelerando seeks to create professional opportunities for musicians from ethnic communities underrepresented in today's orchestras by providing them with instruction, mentorship, performance experiences, and assistance with applying to music schools
Nashville Symphony’s Accelerando initiative will use Newzik for this performance. Newzik is a comprehensive music-reading solution on iPads, developed and customized to fit the needs of orchestras.
Speakers: Giancarlo Guerrero, music director, Martha & Bronson Ingram Music Director Chair, Nashville Symphony
The Opening Session is sponsored by TRG Arts.
Throughout the Conference you’ll gather together for stimulating meetings with those who best understand the challenges of your position: your peers. Whether you’re working at an orchestra as an executive director, board member, volunteer, staff, or musician, there is learning designed specifically for you.
Leshnoff – Symphony No. 4 “Heichalos”
Barber – Adagio for Strings
Orff – Carmina Burana
Nashville Symphony | Giancarlo Guerrero, conductor | Nashville Ballet | Paul Vasterling, artistic director | Duncan Copp, film producer and director | Nashville Symphony Chorus | Tucker Biddlecombe, chorus director | Blair Children’s Chorus | Mary Biddlecombe, artistic director
Experience Carmina Burana as never before in this multimedia sensation featuring updated choreography from the Nashville Ballet and an original film that will bring this bawdy medieval text vividly to life. With its epic score for full orchestra, adult chorus, and children’s chorus, Carmina Burana is a feast for the senses, and this is your chance to witness the debut of the Nashville Ballet and Nashville Symphony’s exciting new production.
Cost: $59 - $152
Following the Nashville Symphony’s performance on Monday, be sure to stay for the Tune-Up Party at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center. We will have a variety of live music, food, and drink guaranteed to give you a taste of “Music City.” Come for the performance and festivities; stay for the conversation and company!