Four Steps to an Open Communications Culture for Orchestras

One-Hour On-Demand Webinar

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How we engage with colleagues serves as one of our biggest assets for success and directly influences our ability to accomplish our work. But what happens when, behind the scenes and off the stage, establishing and sustaining harmonious connections between people feels difficult, or even impossible?

In this one-hour webinar, Sonja Thoms, Senior Director of Operations and Orchestra Manager at the Nashville Symphony, tackles that question with key observations, tools, and tactics to help establish relationships between staff and musicians that are full of openness and trust. Register for this webinar to obtain practical information that you can start applying immediately to support your orchestra’s communications culture. 

Who Should Attend?

Executive directors, general managers, operations staff, personnel managers, musicians, and individuals seeking to learn more about cultivating an open communications culture.


  • $15 for Members
  • $25 for Non-Members

Register Here

About the Speaker

Sonja Thoms, Senior Director of Operations and Orchestra Manager at the Nashville Symphony

Sonja Thoms is the Senior Director of Operations and Orchestra Manager at the Nashville Symphony. Previously, Sonja worked at the Pittsburgh Symphony for nine years in orchestra operations. Throughout her career, Sonja has worked tirelessly to improve the communications culture within orchestras. Daily work behind the scenes combined with participating in several CBA negotiations has given her key insights that drive her compassion and commitment to the work of musicians, while shaping her leadership development and inspiring creative collaboration to overcome challenges that face orchestras.

Sonja loves working in orchestra operations and has created resources for students interested in a career with orchestras including a blog and a new website promoting orchestra careers and offering personalized coaching. Sonja has presented about orchestra careers at Lipscomb University, West Virginia University, Messiah College, and Middle Tennessee State University.  In the spring of 2019 she started teaching a class she created, “The Business of Orchestras” at Belmont University in Nashville.

Sonja has a BM (Eastman School of Music) and MM (Rice University) in Oboe Performance and studied with Joanne Rehkopf, Ray Still, Allan Vogel, Richard Killmer, and Robert Atherholt. Sonja continually pursues development of her leadership skills through books, podcasts, seminars, networks, and workshops. She was chosen to participate in the League of American Orchestras’ 2017-2018 Emerging Leaders Program. Sonja lives in Nashville with her son and their dog, Ralphie.


Please contact David Styers, Director, Learning and Leadership Programs, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

This webinar is made possible by generous grants from American Express, the Howard Gilman Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

Image of Sonja Thoms courtesy of the speaker.