Does Your Orchestra Make The Cut?

The 2009 Orchestra Website Reviews are underway but that doesn’t mean it is too late to be included. At the same time, in order to have your orchestra take part in the evaluations, you’ll need to meet a few simple criteria…

Gain access to all the website review data with a subscription to Adaptistration Premium.
Gain access to all the website review data with a subscription to Adaptistration Premium.

In order to determine if your orchestra qualifies to be included in the review, take a moment to answer four simple YES/NO questions (a list of organizations included in this year’s review is located at the end of the post):

  1. Organization: Is your ensemble organized as a full time a symphonic or chamber orchestra?
  2. Location: Is your organization located in the United States or Canada?
  3. Budget*: Is the amount in Part 1, Line 17 (Total Expenditures) from your 2006/07 IRS Form 990 $2 million or greater?
  4. Artistic Representation: Are your orchestra musicians represented by a collective bargaining agreement and a full member of a recognized** players conference?

If you answered NO to any of the above questions then your organization does not yet meet the minimum qualifications to be included in the Annual Orchestra Website Review. If you are unsure about how to answer any of the above questions or if you feel that your organization should be granted special dispensation, send me an email ASAP and we’ll see what can be done. If your organization is not able to be included in the review but you are still interested in having your website assessed, inquire about fee-based evaluations.

If you’re not already familiar with the Annual Website Reviews, visit the review index page to learn more and access the past several years of data.

*This question is for US orchestras only
**Including, but not limited to, ICSOM, ROPA, IGSOBM.

US Orchestras included in the 2009 review

  1. Alabama Symphony
  2. Atlanta Symphony
  3. Austin Symphony
  4. Baltimore Symphony
  5. Boston Symphony
  6. Buffalo Philharmonic
  7. California Symphony
  8. Charleston Symphony
  9. Charlotte Symphony
  10. Chattanooga Symphony
  11. Chicago Symphony
  12. Cincinnati Symphony
  13. Cleveland Orchestra
  14. Colorado Springs Philharmonic
  15. Colorado Symphony
  16. Columbus Symphony
  17. Dallas Symphony
  18. Dayton Philharmonic
  19. Delaware Symphony
  20. Detroit Symphony
  21. Elgin Symphony
  22. Florida Orchestra
  23. Fort Wayne Philharmonic
  24. Fort Worth Symphony
  25. Fresno Philharmonic
  26. Grand Rapids Symphony
  27. Harrisburg Symphony
  28. Hartford Symphony
  29. Honolulu Symphony
  30. Houston Symphony
  31. Huntsville Symphony
  32. Indianapolis Symphony
  33. Jacksonville Symphony
  34. Kalamazoo Symphony
  35. Kansas City Symphony
  36. Knoxville Symphony
  37. L.A. Chamber Orchestra
  38. Las Vegas Philharmonic
  39. Long Beach Symphony
  40. Long Island Philharmonic
  41. Los Angeles Philharmonic
  42. Louisville Orchestra
  43. Memphis Symphony
  44. Milwaukee Symphony
  45. Minnesota Orchestra
  46. Mississippi Symphony
  47. Naples Philharmonic
  48. Nashville Symphony
  49. National Symphony
  50. New Jersey Symphony
  51. New Mexico Symphony
  52. New York Philharmonic
  53. North Carolina Symphony
  54. Omaha Symphony
  55. Orchestra of St. Luke’s
  56. Oregon Symphony
  57. Pacific Symphony
  58. Philadelphia Orchestra
  59. Phoenix Symphony
  60. Pittsburgh Symphony
  61. Rhode Island Philharmonic
  62. Richmond Symphony
  63. Rochester Philharmonic
  64. Saint Louis Symphony
  65. Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra
  66. San Antonio Symphony
  67. San Diego Symphony
  68. San Francisco Symphony
  69. Santa Rosa Symphony
  70. Sarasota Symphony
  71. Seattle Symphony
  72. Spokane Symphony
  73. Symphony Silicon Valley
  74. Syracuse Symphony
  75. Toledo Symphony
  76. Tucson Symphony
  77. Utah Symphony
  78. Virginia Symphony
  79. West Virginia Symphony
  80. Wichita Symphony
  81. Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra

Canadian Orchestras included in the 2009 review

  1. Calgary Philharmonic
  2. Edmonton Symphony
  3. Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony
  4. National Arts Centre Orchestra
  5. Orchestra London Canada
  6. Orchestre Metropolitain
  7. Orchestre Symphonique de Montreal
  8. Symphony Nova Scotia
  9. Thunder Bay Symphony
  10. Toronto Symphony
  11. Vancouver Symphony
  12. Victoria Symphony
  13. Windsor Symphony
  14. Winnipeg Symphony

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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5 thoughts on “Does Your Orchestra Make The Cut?”

  1. Just what exactly is your definition of a “full-time” symphonic or chamber ensemble? I see a number of orchestras on the 2009 list that are merely per-service operations. It seems like there should be some further clarification on this particular criteria.

    • You’re absolutely right, the term “full time” is certainly a loaded piece of nomenclature in this business. In fact, I would say it doesn’t have any universal definition with regard to musician status and in those cases, using “salary” and “per-service” are better options.

      Here, the term refers to whether or not an ensemble’s primary artistic production focuses on symphonic and chamber music productions. That means organizations that produce mainly operas, ballets, pops, etc. are not included in the reviews, although I keep trying to find the time to conduct separate reviews for opera websites; but alas, not this year.

    • Opera, ballet, pops, etc. ensembles are not included in the reviews becasue requirements regarding effective website practices would necessitate a different set of evaluation criteria than the one used for symphonic and chamber orchestras.

      I agree, that it would be great to do separate reviews, especially opera but as of now, my consulting work is busy enough that I don’t have the time to design an appropriate set of criteria and adequately perform a thorough opera website review. However, if the review had a sponsor, that would be a different story. If you know anyone that would be interested in sponsoring a review, just let me know. I haven’t pursued in much over the years but sponsoring the reviews is certainly a worthwhile opportunity.

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