Community Impact and Engagement: Orchestra Story Bank

This Story Bank is a resource to show the many ways in which orchestras serve communities, providing the first-hand perspective of musicians, families, and community partners.

Through the power of music, collaboration, and collective action, orchestras serve the public in many ways. Just as the needs of one community differ greatly from those of another, each orchestra develops programs, partnerships, and performances that provide unique value to their community.

San Diego Symphony, Star Wars Concert (Photo courtesy of San Diego Symphony)

Stories will be added on a rotating basis, so revisit this page to see new examples of orchestras in action. See the Archive for past stories.



Photo Credit: Khue Bui

Los Angeles Philharmonic Music and Artistic Director Gustavo Dudamel delivered an inspiring keynote address about the importance of the arts, especially for young people. Recipients of the 2015 National Medal of Arts and National Humanities Medal, their families, and Washington DC leaders and dignitaries were present at the event.
Read his full remarks


Partnering to Make Music with Diverse Communities

Orchestras are reaching new audiences in unexpected ways, from collaborating with community service and educational organizations to redefining the concert experience through the use of technology.

San Francisco Symphony: SoundBox

News piece from KQED Arts

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New Jersey Symphony Orchestra:
Autism Community Program

Frank Foerster, New Jersey Symphony Orchestra Principal Violist and NJSO Violinist James Tsao

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Contributing to Strong, Healthy Communities

Orchestras are a magnet for business, investment, and tourism, helping to revitalize neighborhoods and heal communities during times of adversity.

Grand Rapids Symphony: Music For Health

Alika Seu, Spectrum Health Music Therapist

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Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra: Integral to the Local Economy

Map of Economic Partners

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Engaging Participants in Lifelong Learning

Studies increasingly show that creating, performing, and responding to music improves students’ success in school, work, and life. Whether as a pre-schooler or senior, playing in an orchestra fosters discipline and teamwork, as well as individual skill and expression.

Yakima Symphony Orchestra: Yakima Music en Acción (YAMA)

Jose Vazquez, Father

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El Paso Symphony Orchestra: Tocando

Karen Peters, Tocando Program Director

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Inspiring Listeners and Finding Commonalities Through Music

Orchestral music is a living, creative art form that draws on musicians from all genres and artists from all disciplines. A growing body of new work can be a catalyst for important conversations.

How Can Orchestras Become More Diverse?

A discussion in Symphony Magazine

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Baltimore Symphony Orchestra: #BSOPeace

Marin Alsop, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Music Director

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Interested in more? See the Archive for past stories!


The Orchestra Story Bank is made possible, in part, thanks to a generous grant from the Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation.

Please address any questions about this rotating collection of examples to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .