What’s In a Name? Part 2

In response to yesterday’s article, I received numerous email messages from readers wondering why I only focused on mostly “Big 5” and other big budget orchestras in the examples in Part 1. The short answer is simply “time”…


In Part 1 I went with examples I already knew about, verified that info, and then researched everything related to the “Big 5” orchestras. Even though all the email messages made me curious I still wasn’t planning to put the time in for research into all the other orchestra domain names until I sat down at the computer last evening and got lucky. No, I didn’t visit knoxvillesymphony.org! 

I went to verify something a reader sent to me about the online ticket capability of the California Symphony and typed in “californiasymphony.com” into my browser’s navigation toolbar. I ended up at a reseller’s place card page telling me that I had arrived at “The Internet’s best CALIFORNIA SYMPHONY web sites – Sponsored Listings”.

The page also told me that the domain name was for sale and I could buy it right then and there for $500.00. It also had a link to search for other domain names for sale through their company, fabulousdomains.com. I followed the link and did a search for “symphony” and look what it returned for domain names available for purchase:

  1. memphissymphony.com = $900.00
  2. westvalleysymphony.com = $900.00
  3. torontosymphonyorchestra.com = $700.00
  4. philadelphiasymphony.com = $650.00
  5. northcarolinasymphony.com = $600.00
  6. desmoinessymphony.com = $600.00
  7. cantonsymphony.com = $600.00
  8. roanokesymphony.com = $600.00
  9. memphissymphonyorchestra.com = $500.00
  10. illinoissymphony.com = $500.00
  11. clevelandsymphony.com = $500.00
  12. richmondsymphonyorchestra.com = $500.00
  13. austinsymphonyorchestra.com = $500.00
  14. tucsonsymphonyorchestra.com = $500.00
  15. santabarbarasymphony.com = $500.00
  16. alabamasymphonyorchestra.com = $500.00
  17. arlingtonsymphony.com = $500.00
  18. lubbocksymphony.com = $500.00
  19. stlouissymphonyorchestra.com = $500.00
  20. arkansassymphonyorchestra.com = $500.00
  21. mississippisymphony.com = $500.00
  22. cedarrapidssymphony.com = $500.00
  23. minnesotasymphony.com = $500.00
  24. longbeachsymphony.com = $500.00
  25. elpasosymphony.com = $500.00
  26. huntsvillesymphony.com = $500.00
  27. lancastersymphony.com = $500.00
  28. tallahasseesymphony.com = $500.00
  29. mesasymphony.com = $500.00
  30. ashevillesymphony.com = $500.00
  31. albuquerquesymphony.com = $500.00
  32. bakersfieldsymphony.com = $500.00
  33. bellevuesymphony.com = $500.00
  34. arizonasymphony.com = $500.00
  35. southdakotasymphony.com = $500.00
  36. newmexicosymphony.com = $500.00
  37. delawaresymphony.com = $500.00
  38. kingstonsymphony.com = $500.00
  39. indianasymphony.com = $500.00
  40. lansingsymphony.com = $500.00
  41. davissymphony.com = $500.00
  42. jacksonsymphony.com = $500.00
  43. lansingsymphonyorchestra.com = $500.00
  44. wichitasymphonyorchestra.com = $500.00
  45. waukeshasymphony.com = $500.00
  46. sacramentosymphony.com = $500.00
  47. roswellsymphony.com = $500.00
  48. redwoodsymphony.com = $500.00
  49. newarksymphony.com = $500.00
  50. napasymphony.com = $500.00
  51. midlandsymphony.com = $500.00
  52. worcestersymphony.com = $500.00
  53. californiasymphony.com = $500.00
  54. calgarysymphony.com = $500.00
  55. missourisymphony.com = $500.00
  56. montgomerysymphony.com = $500.00
  57. oklahomasymphony.com = $500.00
  58. ontariosymphony.com = $500.00
  59. pittsburgsymphony.com = $500.00
  60. renosymphony.com = $500.00
  61. tennesseesymphony.com = $500.00
  62. salemsymphony.com = $500.00
  63. winnipegsymphony.com = $500.00
  64. greensborosymphony.com = $500.00
  65. corpuschristisymphony.com = $500.00
  66. elpasosymphonyorchestra.com = $500.00
  67. oaklandsymphony.com = $500.00
  68. miamisymphony.com = $500.00
  69. wichitasymphony.com = $500.00
  70. durhamsymphony.com = $500.00
  71. anchoragesymphony.com = $500.00
  72. louisianasymphony.com = $500.00
  73. flagstaffsymphony.com = $500.00
  74. minneapolissymphony.com = $500.00
  75. detroitorchestra.com = $500.00
  76. columbusorchestra.com = $500.00
  77. viennaphilharmonicorchestra.com = $500.00
  78. bostonorchestra.com = $500.00
  79. phoenixorchestra.com = $500.00
  80. arkansasorchestra.com = $500.00
  81. indianapolisorchestra.com = $500.00
  82. denverorchestra.com = $500.00
  83. coloradoorchestra.com = $500.00
  84. baltimoreorchestra.com = $500.00
  85. alabamaorchestra.com = $500.00
  86. cincinnatiorchestra.com = $500.00
  87. rochesterorchestra.com = $500.00
  88. mississippiorchestra.com = $500.00
  89. portlandorchestra.com = $500.00

Wow. There’s actually quite a bit more than that but I left out such domain names as “shotgunsymphony.org”, although I’d love to hear what a piece with that title would sound like!

I’m not one to believe much in coincidence so all of this had to happen last night for a good reason. It just goes to prove the original point of these articles once again; an orchestral organization’s domain name is important. My forgetting that the correct domain name for the California Symphony is californiasymphony.org and not californiasymphony.com inadvertently led me to a commercial website which underscores that point even more.

Although orchestras don’t need to go around buying up 35 different domain names, they should look into purchasing anywhere from two to six domain names and have them redirect to their primary domain name. If they perform regularly at a different venue (like Boston in Tanglewood) then they’ll need to pick up a few more.

Nevertheless, if an organization has enough budget resources to also buy up dozens of common misspellings, etc. that’s great; but it’s a luxury at best and certainly not a necessity (I had that email conversation with at least a dozen arts managers, consultants, and musicians yesterday).

About Drew McManus

"I hear that every time you show up to work with an orchestra, people get fired." Those were the first words out of an executive's mouth after her board chair introduced us. That executive is now a dear colleague and friend but the day that consulting contract began with her orchestra, she was convinced I was a hatchet-man brought in by the board to clean house.

I understand where the trepidation comes from as a great deal of my consulting and technology provider work for arts organizations involves due diligence, separating fact from fiction, interpreting spin, as well as performance review and oversight. So yes, sometimes that work results in one or two individuals "aggressively embracing career change" but far more often than not, it reinforces and clarifies exactly what works and why.

In short, it doesn't matter if you know where all the bodies are buried if you can't keep your own clients out of the ground, and I'm fortunate enough to say that for more than 15 years, I've done exactly that for groups of all budget size from Qatar to Kathmandu.

For fun, I write a daily blog about the orchestra business, provide a platform for arts insiders to speak their mind, keep track of what people in this business get paid, help write a satirical cartoon about orchestra life, hack the arts, and love a good coffee drink.

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