Constituency Agenda

Constituency Liaison: Derek Weagle, 646 822 4083


Monday, June 3
3:00pm - 5:00pm
Old Hickory, Level Three

The Future Symphony Musician

This session is a free event developed for students or orchestra staff interested in understanding and engaging emerging professional musicians.

Who is the future symphony musician? What do they see, hear, think, do and say? In this session, Dr. Tanya Kalmanovitch and Anna-Christina Phillips will apply their perspective as leaders in one of the world’s foremost conservatory professional development programs to provide a snapshot of the orchestral musician of the future.

Music students who graduate today are facing very real challenges that will shape their livelihood and their craft. The impact of these challenges is a cohort of classical musicians who have raised the bar on social responsibility in our field, and carry a greater purpose beyond music for music’s sake. They are the future of our art form. In this session we will explore the world in which they live, the way it shapes their perceptions, and how this new generation of classical musician can engage with challenges.

Tanya Kalmanovitch, Ph. D., faculty, New England Conservatory; associate professor, The New School; Anna-Christina Phillips, associate dean of entrepreneurial musicianship, New England Conservatory


Tuesday, June 4 (Electives)
9:00am - 10:15am
Broadway A-B, Level Two

Musicians Transforming Communities
What makes community engagement successful? Recipients of the League’s Ford Musician Awards for Excellence in Community Service and others share the elements of their practice that contribute to individual transformation and lasting community impact. They’ll discuss their work in health care, educational, and other community settings and they’ll relay the musical, strategic, and organizational skills required for high-impact results.

Speakers: Aimee Halbrunner, director of education & community engagement, Richmond Symphony; panelists, Ford Musician Awards winners (to be announced)

Made possible by generous grants from the Ford Motor Company Fund.


11:15am - 12:30pm
Broadway Ballroom C-D, Level Two

New Voices: Composers of Today
Join us for an introduction to four emerging composers whose unique compositional voices--increasingly informed by political, social, and cultural forces--are making an impact in concert halls across the country. Learn about their orchestral output; how they view their music, as creators, in an art form responding to change; and the ever-increasing role composers play in nurturing the fabric of their communities as teachers, community educators, concert curators and producers, entrepreneurs, musicians, and conductors.

Speakers: Reena Esmail, composer; Daniel Bernard Roumain, composer; Derrick Spiva Jr., composer, Code Switch Composers Collective / Bridge to Everywhere; Alex Temple, composer, lecturer, Northwestern University; Evan Williams, composer


2:30pm - 3:45pm
Broadway Ballroom G-H, Level Two

Broadway Ballroom C-D, Level Two

Auditions, Identity, and Culture
Four musicians of color, each leading and giving shape to the national conversation on race and ethnicity in orchestras, reflect on their audition experience, with and without screens, and on their paths navigating orchestras’ predominantly white, Western European culture.

Speakers: Alex Laing, principal clarinet, Phoenix Symphony; Shea Scruggs, consultant; Weston Sprott, trombone, The MET Orchestra, Stephanie Matthews, violinist, founder and creative director of StringCandy, co-founder of the Re-Collective Orchestra

Artistic Excellence and Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion: A Moderated Debate
Our understanding of the term “artistic excellence” is in flux, redefined by orchestras across the U.S. who are forging new forms of artistic engagement and collaboration with the diverse communities they serve. Yet this work often challenges the traditions, organizational practices, and cultural norms that, for many, define the work of orchestras. In this session, two key leaders from our field (Jesse Rosen, president and CEO of the League of American Orchestras and Ed Yim, president of American Composers Orchestra) will face a panel of orchestra colleagues to debate some of the apparent tensions and opportunities underpinning this work. Do inclusive practices inhibit or expand on our notions of artistic excellence? What assumptions do we hold, as a field, that might limit the extent to which equity, diversity, and inclusion can enrich the artistic life of our orchestras? And what does “artistic excellence” really mean, in today’s diverse—and divided—America?

Speakers: Jesse Rosen, president and CEO, League of American Orchestras; Ed Yim, president and CEO, American Composers Orchestra


Wednesday, June 5 (Electives)
9:00am - 10:15am
Broadway A, Level Two

Broadway J-K, Level Two

Cumberland 5-6, Level Three

A Conversation with Joan Tower
Joan Tower is the recipient of the League's 2019 Gold Baton Award. In this interview, Tower and Leon will share insights into their decades-old friendship and collaborations, and they will discuss their views on the field of new music and its emergent trends and challenges—all the while championing the important role composers play in American orchestras.

Speakers: Joan Tower, Composer, Asher Edelman Professor of Music, Bard College, 2109 Gold Baton Recipient, Tania León, Composer & Conductor, Founding Artistic Director, Composers Now

Check This Out!
Check This Out! is a fast-paced opportunity for those attending Conference to get a quick snapshot of the exciting work happening in a number of organizations. Each presentation will be approximately ten minutes in length and introduce innovations that have the potential for replication by other orchestras. The presentations include:

  • Advocacy of the Neural Tango: Orchestras Creating Awareness of the Benefits of Music in Medicine

  • The Business of Orchestras

  • $20under40: An Engagement and Revenue Success Story

  • How to See Sound: Fundamentals of Orchestral Recording

  • The Orchestra as a Community Organization

  • Meme-tastic Social Media: Storytelling in Video to Reach Modern Audiences

  • Performance Management & the Orchestra “Rolodex Model"

Speakers: J. Andrés Ballesteros, artistic advisor, Eureka Ensemble; Ignacio Barrón Viela, executive director, Billings Symphony Orchestra & Chorale; Liane Curtis, president, Women’s Philharmonic Advocacy; Kristo Kondakçi, artistic director & conductor, Eureka Ensemble; Theresa Maderia, director or marketing and patron loyalty, California Symphony; Martha Summa-Chadwick, executive director, Music Therapy Gateway In Communications, Inc.; Sonja Thoms, sr. director of operations & orchestra manager, Nashville Symphony

The Musicians' Perspective: Creating Collaborative Cultures in Orchestras
Some orchestras are highly collaborative with board, staff, and musicians well aligned; some others would argue that if each constituent part does its job at a high level, there is not much need to collaborate; and some others are outright adversarial. There are probably as many cultures as there are orchestras. A panel of musicians will tackle the question of culture, the often unspoken yet powerful force that drives organizations more than strategy or individual leaders. They’ll consider how culture can support innovation and empowerment, as well as the role culture can play in setting and achieving organizational goals and delivering on mission.

Speakers: Kevin Jablonski, section bass, Nashville Symphony; Alex Laing, principal clarinet, The Phoenix Symphony; Bradley Mansell, cellist, Nashville Symphony; Laura Ross, second violin, Nashville Symphony

This session is generously sponsored by Partners in Performance.


11:15am - 12:30pm
Broadway C, Level Two

Cumberland 1, Level Two

Community Identity in Programming
Orchestras today are increasingly looking to their own communities when programming and commissioning new pieces. Hear from composers and administrators on the front line of this work: how are new compositions created with community in mind; how are programs curated that reflect community; what challenges and successes were encountered; and what was the community’s response?

Walking the Walk: Why Music Education Matters
and What Orchestras Can Do
The pathways to more equitable participation in orchestral music start at a very early age. More than 250 orchestras have signed a statement of common cause to take action to support in-school music education in their local communities. How can the impulse to advocate for systemic changes in schools also be applied to the process of making meaningful change within orchestras as institutions? This session will explore the status of arts education in our nation’s schools and will detail the challenges faced by young musicians from under-represented ethnic communities as they navigate the pathway and go on to pursue careers with U.S. orchestras. Whether the goal is to foster a lifelong love of music or support future professional musicians, orchestras can play an active part in ensuring these musical journeys get the early and sustained support they need.

Speakers: Jane Best, director, Arts Education Partnership; Walter Bitner, director of education & community engagement, Nashville Symphony; Jeff Smith, director of visual and performing arts, Metro Nashville Public Schools

Name badges for this event generously provided by TALASKE l Sound Thinking.