League Leading: September 2018
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.
Creating the greatest impact
By many accounts, the League’s 2018 National Conference, with the theme of Creating the Greatest Impact, was one of the best that participants had ever attended. Watch the short video below for a taste of the inspiring plenary speakers—Vijay Gupta, Jennifer Koh, Yo-Yo Ma, and Anthony and Demarre McGill.
Find video of the plenary sessions as well as other materials from the Conference, here. (Photo of League President and CEO Jesse Rosen with Yo-Yo Ma at 2018 Conference by Dan Rest.)
And save the date for next year’s Conference, June 3-5, 2019 in Nashville.
The League is a voice for orchestras internationally
This past summer, delegates from around the globe gathered in Geneva, Switzerland to consider a broad agenda that includes policies controlling how musical instruments may cross international borders under the terms of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). The League was an official participant in the negotiations, working in partnership with global music organizations and conservation leaders to ensure that rules related to rosewood (PDF), ivory, and other materials found in orchestral instruments address urgent conservation concerns while also supporting international cultural activity.
The League provides essential assistance to orchestras as they navigate the permit requirements for international tours, and is also deeply engaged in efforts to improve the policies. Further policy improvements (PDF) will be sought as the terms of the treaty are negotiated in May of 2019. Read more about how the League is working in partnership with NAMM, WWF, and dozens other stakeholders in Symphony magazine, “Conserving Endangered Woods: Advocating for Orchestras and Musicians.” (PDF)
(Photo of Heather Noonan, the League’s VP for Advocacy, at the talks in Geneva.)
Thirty-four orchestra executives, administrators, musicians, students, and career changers from across the country participated in the League of American Orchestras’ Essentials of Orchestra Management program in Los Angeles, July 16-26. The ten-day immersive seminar, taking place on the campus of the University of Southern California (USC), develops the careers of orchestra managers, providing an in-depth overview of orchestra administration and offering participants the unique opportunity to learn from a faculty of orchestra executives, musicians, and leadership experts. Read a short, compelling story about the seminar, told with photos and Adobe Spark, here.
(Photo of Essentials participants by Agibail R. Collins Photography.)
National media note orchestras’ collective action
The National Alliance for Audition Support, an unprecedented initiative to diversify American orchestras, has drawn national media coverage. “The first industry-wide attempt seriously to address a gap,” wrote The Washington Post. “A group made up of 700 orchestras and several nonprofits wants to change that,” said NPR’s Marketplace. Other coverage included:
Read more here about this initiative by The Sphinx Organization, the New World Symphony, the League of American Orchestras, and orchestras across the U.S. Find more coverage of orchestras generated by the League’s PR department here.
Five inspiring musicians, five inspiring videos
In June, five orchestra musicians from across the country received Ford Musician Awards for Excellence in Community Service from the League of American Orchestras. Learn more about their work, supported by Ford Motor Company Fund, and see videos of them in action here.
(Musicians pictured left to right: Jody Chaffee, Jeffrey Barker, John R. Beck, Erin Hannigan, Samantha Bourque [Ford Motor Company Fund], Jesse Rosen [League President and CEO], and Juan R. Ramírez Hernández. Photo credit: Dan Rest)
Abuzz: “The bold, provocative ideas presented…”
….were deeply inspiring. Too often in our field we lose the forest for the trees when we become entrenched in tradition for tradition’s sake; these leaders are proving that the true way forward in our field is to be radically inclusive, empathetic, and specific. I’m looking forward to bringing these principles in my own work, and instilling them in my colleagues. ~A comment shared in the evaluation of the 2018 Conference.
Related Links & Assets
- Creating the Greatest Impact: Conference 2018 Highlights
- Rules Related to Rosewood
- Further policy improvements
- Conserving Endangered Woods: Advocating for Orchestras and Musicians
- Essentials of Orchestra Management 2018
- The Washington Post: Orchestra initiative will provide support for musicians of color
- NPR: To help diversify American orchestras, one group is helping to get players to auditions
- NBC News: Lack of diversity in top orchestras remains a major challenge for musicians of color
- The New York Times: Seeking Orchestras in Tune With Their Diverse Communities