League Conference in Atlanta

The League of American Orchestras’ annual conference is next week in Atlanta, June 16 to 19. I’m attending and will be blogging every day about what’s going on.

Reminder that any musician in a member orchestra (which I’d imagine includes all professional orchestras) can attend the League’s conference for free, registering as a musician. They have a set of sessions specifically for musicians (this is perhaps the 6th or 7th year they’ve done this) – you can take a look at the musician sessions here.

In advance of the conference, the League has put up a website to solicit input into the topics to be discussed at the opening plenary “town hall meeting” session on Wednesday afternoon, June 16th, moderated by Eric Booth, with the assistance of Doug McLennan. This session will be streamed online, so you can follow along.

You can read lots of suggestions from lots of folks, and add your own two cents about how orchestras should change to adapt to the new climate, by visiting their Orchestra R/Evolution website at:


On my first visit, I found the website noisy and a bit confusing, but perhaps I’m just showing my age – I’m just not into Twitter (and I’m truly not a blogger at heart) – but it seems more focused now. It’s an interesting mix of bloggers, talking about lots of things to do with the arts. We’ll see how useful it all will be – I’m glad I’m not the one who has to cull topics from all these entries!

The other interesting item that will be presented at the conference is a new study, Fearless Journeys: Innovation in Five American Orchestras, by Lela Tepavac, Ph.D., funded by the MetLife Foundation, and edited by Catherine Maciariello (formerly of the Mellon Foundation). The study presents case studies of the Atlanta Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Memphis Symphony, Pacific Symphony, and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. From the League’s website:

Fearless Journeys is a first-of-its-kind case study about innovation in orchestras. The five stories featured in the book are only a few examples of how the orchestra field is testing important new approaches to administrative/artistic organization, community partnerships, and artistic initiatives. The Conclusion focuses on the factors that have enabled innovation in all five orchestras in the study. This is critical knowledge that orchestras can use. As important, the book serves as hard evidence that, even in these challenging times, the field is taking risks and discovering ways to become increasingly resilient.

To download the complete study, click here.

More from Atlanta next week.

About the author

Ann Drinan
Ann Drinan

Ann Drinan, Senior Editor, has been a member of the Hartford Symphony viola section for over 30 years. She is a former Chair of the Orchestra Committee, former member of the HSO Board, and has served on many HSO committees. She is also the Executive Director of CONCORA (CT Choral Artists), a professional chorus based in Hartford and New Britain, founded by Artistic Director Richard Coffey. Ann was a member of the Advisory Board of the Symphony Orchestra Institute (SOI), and was the HSO ROPA delegate for 14 years, serving as both Vice President and President of ROPA. In addition to playing the viola and running CONCORA, Ann is a professional writer and editor, and has worked as a consultant and technical writer for software companies in a wide variety of industries for over 3 decades. (She worked for the Yale Computer Science Department in the late 70s, and thus has been on the Internet, then called the DARPAnet, since 1977!) She is married to Algis Kaupas, a sound recordist, and lives a block from Long Island Sound in Branford CT. Together they create websites for musicians: shortbeachwebdesign.com.

Ann holds a BA in Music from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and an MA in International Relations from Yale University.

Read Ann Drinan's blog here. web.esm.rochester.edu/poly/author/ann-drinan

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