Optimism in Omaha

An article came out a couple of weeks ago on Omaha.com with some positive news from the Omaha Symphony.  Attendance during the Symphony’s 2014-15 season was record setting, and even subscription packages to multiple concerts are on the rise. Pretty exciting.  Of course, the question is why.

Why are more people coming to the symphony for the first time? Why are people coming back more frequently than before?  Innovative and audience-centered programming? The article highlights Omaha’s “Symphony Rocks” series, its “Movie Music” series, and its educational programming.  But the article also quickly points out that the “MasterWorks” series is holding its own in terms of attendance as well.  Maybe the increases are also a result of the orchestra’s strategic marketing effort – reaching out to first time subscribers and offering them steep discounts.  Wherever the growth is coming from, clearly they are doing something right in Omaha.

Like many of the positive stories coming out of orchestras in the last few years, the article acknowledges that there have been struggles along side the successes.  In 2009, musicians took a pay cut of 5 percent.  But just last year, a new five year contract was put into place that will give musicians a raise of 11.71%.  Clearly, there is reason to be optimistic in Omaha.

About the author

Stephen Danyew
Stephen Danyew

Steve Danyew is a composer, saxophonist, teacher, and arts administrator based in Rochester, NY. Danyew composes works for chamber ensembles, large instrumental ensembles, choirs and more, and currently serves as Managing Editor of Polyphonic.org. His music has been hailed as “startlingly beautiful” and “undeniably well crafted and communicative” by the Miami Herald, and has been praised as possessing “sensitivity, skill and tremendous sophistication” by the Kansas City Independent. Steve received a B.M. cum laude, Pi Kappa Lambda from the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami and holds an M.M. in Composition and Certificate in Arts Leadership from the Eastman School of Music.

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