For the past 14 years, Polly Kahn has served as Vice President for Learning & Leadership Development at the League of American Orchestras, where she oversaw the League’s artistic, learning, and leadership development programs and services, including the Orchestra Leadership Academy, Emerging Leaders Program, National Conference, Getty Education and Community Investment Grants, Music Alive new music program, constituent services, programs for emerging orchestra executives, online learning, and self-assessment tools for orchestras. Prior to her time with the League, Polly was Director of Education at the New York Philharmonic, and worked in education positions at the 92nd Street Y and Lincoln Center.
As Polly prepared to step down from her position at the League, she wrote a wonderful piece for Symphony magazine, which I featured on Polyphonic a few months ago. She described many of the ongoing symphonic community engagement programs around the country, and spoke with such an optimistic voice.
I asked Polly to write something for Polyphonic, reflecting on her many years working in our industry in so many areas. The article she wrote is deeply personal, raises some difficult questions, but beautifully describes the passion that brought us all to our professions.
-Ann Drinan, January 12, 2019Read More →
In this article, Michael Manley offers some compelling thoughts about the future of orchestral programming. He challenges us to break down the barriers of “art music,” “commercial music,” and “pops” and to be more open to including a wider variety of music on orchestral concerts. I think you will enjoy his writing style and his ideas for the future!Read More →
In this article, cellist Peter Sachon talks about the general trends of orchestral programming in the United States and how he feels they could be improved. He points to the separation of subscription and pops programming, and the general lack of “non-traditional” programming, which he suggests could include contemporary music, film music, musical theater, and more. Programming is certainly an important piece of the puzzle that needs to be considered when looking at the future and how we will engage our audiences. And in this article, Peter Sachon offers a compelling argument for innovative and bold programming.Read More →
In the following article, Peter Sachon discusses the “rituals” and traditions associated with classical music performances and examines situations where perhaps new ideas could be implemented. Sachon tackles issues such as audience applause, general etiquette expectations, lighting, dress, and others. He argues that these traditions have created an atmosphere of elitism that is not welcoming for new and unfamiliar audiences. There is no question that these traditions are a hot topic of discussion right now, and Sachon makes a compelling argument for thinking about these issues and planning for the future.Read More →