The Business of Orchestras
:: Proactive Musicians

Julie Ayer  

The Birth of ICSOM: A Labor Revolution

Julie Ayer
September 17, 2019

The Chicago musicians, organizing from within, had developed a fine-tuned network that became the basis for a national communications system that facilitated the exchange of much information of mutual importance to symphony orchestra musicians all over North America. The survey that the CSO players' committee distributed to twenty-six orchestras in 1962 became the basis for their next big move. Once they had received all the surveys and compiled the results, the committee members convened a landmark meeting in Chicago on May 12 and 13, 1962, amid cries of "dual unionism" from the AFM. For the first time in their collective history, musicians from North America's leading orchestras gathered to plan for their future.

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Jonathan Boen  

A New Horn Concerto: From Concept To Recording - Part 1

Jonathan Boen
April 30, 2019

Ever since I started playing the French Horn, I've always wondered about the origin of each new concerto that I've encountered.

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Jonathan Boen  

A New Horn Concerto: From Concept To Recording - Part 2

Jonathan Boen
January 3, 2019

Little did I realize in 1983 that Betty Butler was not finished with her support of the project.

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Sam Bergman  

Selling The Band (Without Selling Your Soul)

Sam Bergman
December 11, 2019

Leaving aside the dubious nature of the charge that orchestra fans are on the verge of dying and leaving no successors behind, we can probably all agree that cultivating new audiences is a good idea. The problem with audience building, of course, is that no one's ever developed a foolproof way to do it.

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Laura Ross  

Growing Pains: Nashville's Transition From ROPA To ICSOM

Laura Ross
May 23, 2019

I should begin by stating that the Nashville Symphony, according to ICSOM - 40 Years of the International Conference of Symphony and Opera Musicians by Tom Hall, was a member of ICSOM for two or three years prior to the formation of the Regional Orchestra Players' Association (ROPA).

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Michael Kosmala  

Educational Residency Programs at the Oregon Symphony: A North Bend Case Study

Michael Kosmala
April 10, 2019

More than two-thirds of the events and activities presented by the Oregon Symphony take place outside of the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall in Portland, Oregon. Every year, an average of 70,000 children and adults representing 16 counties and more than 300 schools are engaged through 58 formal performances and more than 350 musician residency visits throughout the region.

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Tina Ward  

Empty Seats - What Can We Do?

Tina Ward
April 10, 2019

One evening last fall I was in the musicians' lounge, awaiting the beginning of the evening Pops show and reading the memo from my box. The Pops, a magic show, was quite entertaining to me. All sorts of things were disappearing and appearing throughout the evening. The music behind the show was fun to play and of a meatier quality than many Pops shows. Unfortunately the memo, regarding attendance figures and total ticket sales, was not as pleasing to me.

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