Help Yourself

Help Yourself is an update on League activities and programs. It includes information on upcoming seminars, events, and meetings, as well as League announcements, Conference updates, award programs, and application deadlines.

Volunteer Project of the Month: Billings Symphony Orchestra and Chorale’s New Year’s Eve Bash

Friday, 19 December 2014

Challenged by their executive director to develop a new fundraiser in a few months, the special events committee of the Billings Symphony Orchestra and Chorale in Montana came up with the concept of a pre-concert New Year’s Eve party at the Great Hall, a beautiful and historic setting at a local…


Sphinx’s annual diversity conference takes place January 30-February 1

Friday, 12 December 2014

This winter the Sphinx Organization will host “Sphinxcon: Engage 2015,” its third annual conference bringing together leaders and practitioners to discuss solutions to the challenges of diversity in the performing arts. The event takes place in Detroit, Michigan from January 30 to February 1. Featured speakers include…


Orchestras’ Impact Profiled in League's New Story Bank

Friday, 05 December 2014

Health care providers, parents, musicians, orchestra administrators, and students—they all have unique, first-person perspectives illustrating the powerful impact of orchestras on communities. The League's story bank houses video, articles, and infographics featuring these individual voices. It’s a great place to point…


Volunteer Project of the Month: San Francisco Symphony’s Deck the Hall

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

One of the San Francisco Symphony’s marquee events is Deck the Hall, a holiday tradition every December since 1980. It includes a concert, silent auction, youth-oriented activities, and the unveiling of fir trees decorated by non-profits and placed throughout the lobbies at Davies Symphony Hall. …


Seminar: Building an Effective Fundraising Board

Monday, 24 November 2014

Board participation is critical to fundraising success. And the League’s in-depth Building an Effective Fundraising Board seminar will help you understand how to develop the kind of fund-raising board that orchestras need to succeed. To be held on Saturday, January 24, 2015 from 1 pm to 5:30 pm and Sunday, January 25, 2015 from 9 am to 1 pm, this two-day seminar will...


Celebrate #GivingTuesday with the League

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Save the date! #GivingTuesday is December 2, 2014.

The League of American Orchestras has joined #GivingTuesday, which harnesses the collective power charities, families, business, and individuals to transform how people participate in the giving season. Coinciding with the Thanksgiving Holiday and the kickoff of holiday shopping ...


Women’s Philharmonic Advocacy extends deadline for performance grants

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

The Women’s Philharmonic Advocacy has announced that it is extending the deadline to November 26 for performance grants of $500 to $1,000 to encourage orchestras to perform music composed by women, both historic and contemporary....


League’s New Story Bank: Showcasing the Impact of Orchestras

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

How do orchestras affect and serve their communities? The League’s new online Story Bank, launched this week, is a public resource showcasing first-person perspectives on the powerful impact of orchestras....


Looking for new ways to build your audience?

Thursday, 13 November 2014

The Wallace Foundation has just released The Road to Results: Effective Practices for Building Arts Audiences, a wide-ranging new report filled with examples of successful strategies used by museums, opera companies, a theater, and other arts groups to expand their audiences....


2014-15 Orchestra Governance Center Grants

Thursday, 06 November 2014

Apply now for the League of American Orchestras’ 2014-15 Governance Center Grants, which provide financial support to orchestra boards to strengthen their governance practice. Grants range from $2,500 to $7,500, and those selected via a competitive application process will be informed by mid-January, 2015....


Link Up: Partner with Carnegie Hall

Tuesday, 04 November 2014

Informational Webinar November 4

The League of American Orchestras will host a webinar November 4 for organizations interested in learning more about Carnegie Hall’s Link Up program, which introduces students in grades 3–5 to the orchestra through an interactive educational curriculum and culminating concerts....


Tune in: NEA to host creative placemaking event

Friday, 31 October 2014

On November 3, the National Endowment for the Arts will host a full-day meeting on the role of the performing arts in transforming communities. With support from ArtPlace America, Beyond the Building: Performing Arts and Transforming Place is designed to cultivate a better understanding of ...


Regional arts in healthcare symposium

Monday, 27 October 2014

Registration is now open for “Arts in Health: Patients, Providers and the Community,” a symposium being held at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota on November 16 and 17. The symposium—featuring individual presentations, workshops and panel discussions, and speakers from…


The new issue of Symphony magazine is available online now!

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

In the fall issue, we unpack the multiple meanings of the Seattle Symphony’s remix of “Baby Got Back” with rapper Sir Mix-A-Lot, offer the latest updates on how to cope with the new regulations that are designed to thwart illegal trade in elephant ivory...


Peabody Institute to host “What’s Next for Classical Music?” symposium

Monday, 20 October 2014

In Baltimore, the Peabody Institute of The Johns Hopkins University will host a symposium entitled “What’s Next for Classical Music?” on October 21 from 2 to 5 p.m. at Peabody’s Friedberg Concert Hall. Johns Hopkins University President Ronald J. Daniels and Provost…


2014-15 Orchestra Governance Center Grants

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Apply now for the League of American Orchestras’ 2014-15 Governance Center Grants, which provide financial support to orchestra boards to strengthen their governance practice. Grants range from $2,500 to $7,500, and those selected via a competitive application process will be informed by mid-January 2015....


Seminar: Building an Effective Fundraising Board

Wednesday, 01 October 2014

Board members are critical components in fundraising for orchestras—but are they comfortable as fundraisers? Are they engaged in meaningful fundraising? The League of American Orchestras will present Building an Effective Fundraising Board, an interactive seminar for orchestra board members and CEOs, on November 6, 2014....


Panel discussion on engaging new audiences to be live-streamed

Monday, 29 September 2014

On Wednesday, October 1 from 3 to 4 p.m. Eastern time, the Wallace Foundation will host a panel discussion on innovative practices in building arts audiences. Joining moderator Kurt Andersen, host of Public Radio International’s Studio 360, will be…


Application deadlines announced for EarShot composer readings

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

“The American Composers Orchestra has announced its deadline for all EarShot submissions for the 2014-15 season,” writes Ian Holubiak in Friday’s (9/19) Classicalite website. “Various reading opportunities are available for emerging composers for the upcoming season with the Buffalo Philharmonic, Chicago Modern Orchestra, Berkeley Symphony and the ACO’s own Underwood New Music Readings and Commission.... 


Panel discussion on engaging new audiences to be live-streamed

Monday, 22 September 2014

On Wednesday, October 1 from 3 to 4 p.m. Eastern time, the Wallace Foundation will host a panel discussion on innovative practices in building arts audiences. Joining moderator Kurt Andersen, host of Public Radio International’s Studio 360, will be Jane Chu, chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts... 


Composers: 2015 Rome Prize applications now being accepted

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

The American Academy in Rome is currently accepting applications for its 2015 Rome Prize fellowships. The Rome Prize is awarded annually to about thirty candidates in the arts, including musical composition, selected by a jury of distinguished peers through a national competition. Winners are invited to Rome...


Volunteers’ Gold Book Project of the Month: The Run for Music

Friday, 29 August 2014

In its fourth year, The Run for Music has grown into a very successful fundraiser for the Naples Philharmonic Orchestra and its youth music-education programs. In partnership with the local running club, Gulf Coast Runners...


Free eBook! “Engaging Your Board in Fundraising”

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

A BoardSource eBook

Studies show that board member participation in fundraising is considered to be inadequate by executive directors and board members alike, so it’s important to look at what is keeping staff members from being more successful at engaging board members in fundraising.


New! SoundWaves in “Symphony”

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Beginning with its fall issue, Symphony magazine will introduce SoundWaves, a new advertising section in which readers can find out about new and historic recordings. SoundWaves will feature four ads per page at an introductory price of $350 for a ¼ page color ad....


Live Webinar: Applying for the League’s Getty Education and Community Investment Grants

Monday, 07 July 2014

July 16, 2014 from 12-1 pm EST

The League is offering a free webinar to introduce the third round of its Getty Education and Community Investment Grants. These one-year grants…


Volunteers’ Gold Book Project of the Month

Wednesday, 02 July 2014

Orchestra volunteers: Need to raise a quick $20,000? Looking for a unique fundraising event? Get out the checkered tablecloths and bibs and have a Lobster Fest Picnic!

Here’s how the Oklahoma City Orchestra League does it ... 


Conference 2014 Highlights

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Start your summer out right—visit to experience just some of what you missed in Seattle!

Highlights include: Keynote addresses from Claire Chase, Alan Brown, and Jesse Rosen. Sessions such as Acting Up: Urgent Civic Priorities, Achieving Impact: Funders’ New Expectations, Get a Grip on the New Music Education Ecosystem, and Mind the (Generation and Diversity) Gap! ...


Watch Sessions from Conference—and More!

Monday, 16 June 2014

Whether you missed Conference or just want to see a presentation again, check out the videos, transcripts, and PowerPoints that are now available. Read Jesse Rosen’s speech, “It’s About Time,” and watch Alan Brown’s keynote address and Doug…


Featured Resource: The Board Chair Handbook

Friday, 13 June 2014

The Board Chair Handbook, a BoardSource eBook, focuses on helping board chairs carry out their responsibilities for the good of the organization. Whether you are a seasoned board chair wanting to brush up and learn something new... 


The Getty Education and Community Investment Grants Program

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Applications for Round 3 of the League's Getty Grants are now open! The League of American Orchestras is pleased to announce a third round of grants to orchestras that help to stimulate growth and excellence in education and community engagement. With funding from the Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation, these one-year grants, ranging from $10,000 to $40,000 ....


The Source: 12 Principles of Governance That Power Exceptional Nonprofit Boards

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Exceptional boards add significant value to their organizations, making discernible differences in their advance on mission. How does a board rise to this level? Are there standards that describe this height of performance?...


Celebrate Father’s Day—and support the League—with AmazonSmile

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

The League of American Orchestras has joined AmazonSmile, a new service provided by Amazon where 0.5% of purchases are given to a charitable organization of the consumer’s choice. To celebrate Father’s Day, from now through June 15, the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate an extra $5 for each customer who makes an eligible purchase at


Watch the Opening Session!

Friday, 06 June 2014

Missed the livestream of our Opening Session? Watch it now! You can also see videos of the Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestra, Jesse Rosen and Simon Woods’ welcome and Gold Baton presentation, the keynote address from Claire Chase, and the performance by Gabriel Prokofiev and Joshua Roman.


Conference: Live Stream of Opening Session from Seattle

Tuesday, 03 June 2014

We’ll be live-streaming the opening session of the League’s National Conference tomorrow, June 4, at 3:45pm PST (6:45pm EST), featuring a keynote address from flutist Claire Chase and performances by cellist Joshua Roman and composer/DJ Gabriel Prokofiev—and we invite you and your colleagues to watch and discuss...


SMART: Strategy and Money Alignment Readiness Tool

Friday, 30 May 2014

You have the vision. You have the plan. Can you afford it? The answer is right there on your balance sheet—and SMART (Strategy and Money Alignment Readiness Tool) will help you see it clearly...


Conference Opening Session Live Stream and Discussion Guide

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Even if you aren’t able to come to Conference in Seattle, be sure to save this date: Wednesday, June 4, 3:45pm PST (6:45pm EST). We’ll be live streaming the opening session—featuring a keynote address from flutist Claire Chase and performances by cellist Joshua Roman and composer/DJ Gabriel Prokofiev...


Grant applications now open for Performing Ensembles Program

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

The grant cycle for the Aaron Copland Fund for Music is now open, with a deadline of June 30, 2014. The Copland Fund’s Performing Ensembles Program supports performing organizations whose artistic excellence encourages and improves public knowledge and appreciation of serious contemporary American music.... 


Hitting the Right Notes: Capital Campaign Trends and Fundamentals for Success

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Capital campaigns are an important part of the fundraising cycle for any orchestra, large or small. While many of the tried and true principles of effective campaign fundraising remain the same, changing demographics and global and industry trends have…


Conference = Business Partners

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Remember part of the benefit of attending Conference is you can meet with over 60 different exhibiting companies – who cover everything you need for the perfect performance. From ticketing to artist managers, acousticians to music publishers, you can get your questions answered in Seattle....


Deadline Approaching: Carnets Play the World Scholarship for Conference

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Corporation for International Business, a League business partner, is still accepting applications for its Play the World Scholarship Program. Executive directors, general managers, and operations managers are eligible to receive $500-$600 scholarships to assist recipients with the costs of attending the League's 2014 Conference....


Board Fundamentals: Understanding Roles in Nonprofit Governance

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

What is governance? What is the role of the board? What is expected of board members? And how does an effective board operate? Board Fundamentals, a BoardSource eBook, answers these questions and more....


Tap into Your Inner Futurist

Friday, 16 May 2014

Join professional futurist Garry Golden for the Pre-Conference seminar Tapping Your Inner Futurist and imagine how your organization can evolve and grow based on emerging trends in the environment. Participants who enroll in this seminar also have the opportunity to become part of an ongoing workgroup....


Chief Executive Succession Planning: Essential Guidance for Boards and CEOs

Thursday, 15 May 2014

It might be tomorrow; it might be 10 years from now. But someday, your chief executive is going to leave your organization. Is there a well-thought-out plan in place?...


The Diversity & Inclusion Resource Center

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

At the League’s Diversity & Inclusion Resource Center, you will find hundreds of free resources that will aid you and your orchestra in this important area....


Reminder: League Salary Survey

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

If you haven’t already, we encourage you to fill out the League’s annual Salary Survey for 2013-14. The deadline for participation is May 16, 2014. If you participated in last year’s survey, you should have received your username and password via email. If you did not participate last year, but would like to do so this year, please contact ...


Board of Directors Self-Assessment Tool

Monday, 12 May 2014

The Board Self-Assessment Tool is newly updated! Now it’s even easier to address the issues that are unique to your orchestra board. This online, confidential survey is a customized questionnaire that provides important insight to your board, specifically: …


Sign up for free consultations at Conference!

Thursday, 08 May 2014

Don’t forget to sign up for free consultations at Conference in Seattle with specialists from the National Endowment for the Arts, CCS, and EarShot. For more details or to reserve your spot, visit


Rates Go Up Next Week—Book Your Hotel Room Today!

Wednesday, 07 May 2014

Most Conference activities will be held at the Westin Seattle, so book your room now to ensure you are in the center of all the action. Rooms can be reserved at a rate of $199 per night + tax....


Orchestras Support In-School Music Education

Monday, 05 May 2014

Join the national effort and commit to local action!

In a 2005 League survey of orchestras, the presence of music education in the schools ranked as a top national priority. As civic-minded…


Building Public Support: A ToolKit for Orchestras

Friday, 02 May 2014

The stakes have never been higher for America’s nonprofit orchestras to effectively convey how they are serving their communities. Today’s philanthropic and public decision-makers want to see and understand how orchestras are meeting the needs of their local communities and their citizens from all walks of life....


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