League of American Orchestras Update, July 2014

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July 2014
Seattle Conference: Vital Sessions / Viral Video

Nearly 1,000 orchestra administrators, musicians, volunteers, and board members attended the League’s National Conference in Seattle last month. WolfBrown Principal Alan Brown’s closing session keynote challenged orchestras to re-imagine the presentation of arts programs in ways that will engage new listeners, while host orchestra Seattle Symphony stirred things up with two concerts, three world premieres, and Sir Mix-A-Lot’s now-famous orchestral rendition of “Baby Got Back.” Experience Conference highlights here.

The Definition of Orchestra: ‘A Dancing Place’

In her riveting Conference keynote address, flutist Claire Chase recounted the early days of ICE (International Contemporary Ensemble), the musical group she founded, and shared her vision of orchestras: “The word ‘orchestra,’ in ancient Greece, meant ‘a dancing place.’ What if orchestras of the 21st century could revisit this most ancient part of their stories and be, literally, an open space? …a space that houses musicians not as interpreters but as catalysts for change; that inspires administrators to be alchemists, synergists; and welcomes audience members not as consumers but as participants…” Watch here.

State of the Field: A Conversation with Jesse Rosen

Optimism, recovery, innovation, experimentation – these themes were abundant at the League’s National Conference and are explored in a conversation between arts reporter Michael Upchurch, of the Seattle Times, and Jesse Rosen, president and CEO of the League. Here is a link to Rosen’s Seattle Times interview. His Conference speech – articulating how a sense of place is central to the evolution of orchestras – is now available to read or watch.

You’re Invited: A Seat at the Policy Table

If you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu. So goes the saying inside the D.C. beltway, where a startling array of issues are being considered that will impact the capacity of orchestras to serve their communities. Have you made your voice heard on charitable giving incentives, funding for the NEA and arts education, and policies that will determine how and whether musicians can use their instruments? Arts advocates can and should participate in policy conversations that shape their future. The League provides everything you need to speak up.

Fired Up in the Board Room

Symphony, the League’s award-winning magazine, debuts Board Room, a new column featuring topics essential to orchestra board effectiveness. In this issue: an excerpt from Susan Howlett’s Boards on Fire! Inspiring Leaders to Raise Money Joyfully. A leading consultant on nonprofit governance, Howlett spoke to a packed session at Conference on helping trustees meet their fiduciary responsibilities. Read the column here.
Did you know?.ASCAP and the League present ASCAP Awards for Adventurous Programming to orchestras for programs that challenge audiences, build repertoire, and increase interest in music of our time. See the full list of 2013/14 awardees here.
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