Sponsored by Henry Fogel Arts Organization Consulting

Welcome to our League Leading newsletter. It provides orchestra fans with an update on what’s happening at the League of American Orchestras. With a membership of 2,000 individuals and organizations, the League leads, supports, and champions America’s orchestras and the vitality of the music they perform. We’re the only national organization dedicated solely to advancing the orchestral experience for all.

Catalyst Fund to advance equity, diversity, and inclusion in American orchestras

The Catalyst Fund

The League of American Orchestras announced in January the launch of The Catalyst Fund, a pilot program of annual grants to adult and youth orchestras that aims to advance their understanding of equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) and to foster effective EDI practices. The Catalyst Fund is supported by a three-year, $2.1 million grant to the League from the Mellon Foundation.

“As our field increasingly addresses the principles of equity, diversity, and inclusion, we are learning that meaningful and enduring change requires orchestras to confront their beliefs, behaviors, and practices, i.e., their cultures. Our experience and research confirm that programmatic diversity efforts fall short when not supported by rigorous examination of values and practices and an alignment among stakeholders,” commented Jesse Rosen, League President and CEO. “With the generous support of the Mellon Foundation and informed by the League’s own data and research, our field can take steps to enact change on the most fundamental level, within orchestra culture.” 

Learn more about The Catalyst Fund here (PDF). Learn more about the League’s approach to equity, diversity, and inclusion work here (PDF).

Orchestra leaders to gather in Nashville, June 3-5, for League Conference

Orchestra leaders to gather in Nashville, June 3-5, for League Conference

Registration is open (with early-bird rates!) for the League’s National Conference, the only national gathering dedicated to orchestras and their partners, and the primary forum for emerging practices and innovation in the field. At MUSIC CentriCITY—the League’s 74th National Conference, hosted by the Nashville Symphony—we will place music, musicians, and composers at the center of our conversations, recognizing that their voices and their work bring creativity, innovation, and inspiration to orchestras’ continuing adaptation to a rapidly changing world. Inspiring and practical Pre-Conference seminars and electives have been carefully curated among five tracks:

  • Artistic Vitality
  • Engagement and Innovation
  • Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI)
  • Leadership, People, and Culture
  • Marketing and Development

Find more details at the Conference website here. (And make your hotel reservations now, as hotels in Nashville are expected to be sold out that week.)

League promotes women composers

League promotes women composers

Composers Courtney Bryan, Cindy Cox, and Fang Man will each receive orchestral commissions of $15,000 as part of the 2018 Women Composers Readings and Commissions program, an initiative of the League of American Orchestras, in partnership with American Composers Orchestra (ACO) and supported by the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation. Courtney Bryan’ s work will be premiered by the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra and Music Director Carlos Miguel Prieto in the 2019-20 season. Cindy Cox’s work will be premiered by the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra in May 2020 and Fang Man’s work by the San Francisco Symphony (performance details for both to be announced).

“Over the past five years, our Women Composers program has significantly expanded the repertoire, resulting in important new works by women being performed by orchestras across the country,” said Jesse Rosen, the League’s President and CEO. “We are grateful for the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation’s visionary thinking and years of support.”

Learn more about the Women Composers and Readings Commissions Program here (PDF). (Photo, from left to right: Courtney Bryan (credit, Arielle Pentes); Cindy Cox (credit, Cindy Cox), and Fang Manwill (credit, Yi Sun).

Volunteer Council supports orchestra volunteers across the U.S.

Volunteer Council supports orchestra volunteers across the U.S.

From coast to coast, associations of volunteers work tirelessly to raise money and offer other forms of support to their local orchestras. Whether they are called a league, a guild, “the friends of,” or another name, these groups help advance orchestral music in their communities. Made up of representative volunteer leaders from orchestras of all budget sizes, the Volunteer Council of the League of American Orchestras sustains and strengthens volunteer groups across the U.S. by offering national educational and networking opportunities. These include but are not limited to the Volunteer Notes newsletter; the Volunteer Project Database; and programming at the League’s National Conference. The Volunteer Council is a vital resource for the League, providing critical knowledge and tools for cultivating modern and thriving volunteer support.

Learn more about the Volunteer Council here.

Pictured here is the Volunteer Council when they met at the League of American Orchestras office in early March of 2019. (Back row, left to right: Derek Weagle, League of American Orchestras, NY; Beth Wise, Huntsville Symphony Orchestra, AL; Sheri Gill, Los Angeles Philharmonic, CA; Bruce Colquhoun, Spokane Symphony, WA; Sandy Feldman, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, MD; Camille Williams, Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, AK; Ginny Lundquist, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, MI; Laurie Skjerseth, Quad City Symphony, IA; Sharon Hatchett, Chicago Sinfonietta, IL; Janet Cabot, Madison Symphony, WI; Cindy Kidwell, East Tyler Symphony Orchestra, TX. Front row, left to right: Tresa A. Radermacher, Northwest Indiana Symphony, IN; Terry Ann White, Amarillo Symphony, TX; Tiffany Ammerman, Marshall Symphony, TX; Becky Odland, Minnesota Orchestra, MN; Linda Stevens, Kansas City Symphony, MO.)

Abuzz: “The time…was so powerful that I expect to benefit for the rest of my life.”

Abuzz: “The time…was so powerful that I expect to benefit for the rest of my life.”

“The time with Horst Abraham, executive consultant and facilitator, was so powerful that I expect to benefit for the rest of my life. The BMI, IMA, pension, and copyright presentations represent the best of what the League can offer its members. The pre-sessions were excellent. Overall, this Midwinter is why the League is valuable.”  

~Orchestra executive, in an evaluation of the League’s 2019 Mid-Winter Managers Meeting, which drew more than 100 administrators from orchestras of all sizes from across the U.S. to a two-day meeting in late January.

Resources at your fingertips

Resources at your fingertips


Henry Fogel

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