2006 Orchestra Website Review: Overall Rankings

On the positive side, the average score for 2006 was 60.23, which is an increase over last year’s average score of 58.93…

Remember, the websites were not examined on the subjective basis of color schemes, graphics, or other aesthetic qualities except in cases where those elements interfered with functionality. For a comprehensive list of evaluation criteria, please click here.

Here’s how they stacked up:

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Naturally, the biggest change for 2006 is the Nashville Symphony’s climb to first place, this is the first year that coveted spot was won by someone other than a big budget organization. Likewise, significant gains were made by five other ensembles covering the gambit from small to mid size budget organizations; such as Colorado Springs Philharmonic, Fort Worth Symphony, Las Vegas Philharmonic, Elgin Symphony, and San Antonio Symphony.

Once again, these accomplishments demonstrate budget size isn’t as much of an influence on an orchestra’s ability to implement significant improvements to their website as conventional wisdom may dictate.

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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3 thoughts on “2006 Orchestra Website Review: Overall Rankings”

  1. Thanks, Drew, for doing these rankings. They are very helpful. I appreciate your advocacy for functionality and accessibility over slick graphics and color schemes.

    The information you have conveyed in the rankings in the past has been immediately useful to us in making improvements to our site and I am sure that will be true this year as well.


    Paul Helfrich
    Executive Director
    West Virginia Symphony Orchestra

  2. Thank you so much for this review that not only forces us to take a closer look at what we’re doing but to constantly strive to make improvements to our website that are useful for the visitors. The Honolulu Symphony is going to post all the musician photos on the site with a link to their bios that are already listed on their musician-maintained site – http://www.honolulusymphonymusicians.org/. It is our plan to also create a forum hosted by musicians, encouraging visitors to correspond with the musicians individually and use it as a resource for educational purposes. We are also posting streaming video interviews with musicians giving insights into upcoming performances and their favorite picks of the season. We’ve found that interaction with the musicians is what the people really want!

    Kristin Jackson
    Honolulu Symphony

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