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Love is Blue: Impressions from MTT's Grand Finale

The author of this blog, Julia Copeland, is a former ACSO Board member, the former Executive Director of Youth Orchestras of Fresno, and a professional violinist. Julia shares her thoughts and impressions from attending the San Francisco Symphony's performance of Mahler's Symphony No. 5 guest conducted by Michael Tilson Thomas (MTT) on Thursday, January 25, 2024. The concert was part of the last subscription series MTT will conduct for SFS, where he was music director from 1995-2020, and marked the 50th anniversary of his debut with the orchestra.

You knew the minute he came onstage what kind of night it would be. He was himself…and yet not exactly. We could feel the pressure of tears building already before he reached the podium. It was that kind of night. Anyone who tells you otherwise is just trying to seem tough.

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A Sparkling, Generous Energy at the Oakland Symphony


The author of this blog, Julia Copeland, is a former ACSO Board member, the former Executive Director of Youth Orchestras of Fresno, and a professional violinist. Julia shares her thoughts and impressions from attending the Oakland Symphony's January 26, 2024, concert guest conducted by Kalena Bovell and featuring Samantha Ege on piano. 

On Friday night at the Oakland Symphony concert conducted by Kalena Bovell, with piano soloist Samantha Ege, I couldn’t avoid a moment of total happiness caused by what should probably be considered extraneous, non-music-related factors.

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Up & Down the Scale: November 2023 to January 2024

We are excited to share the latest developments and changes in the professional lives of our members. This edition of Up & Down the Scale covers orchestra administrative announcements made from November 2023 through January 2024. If you want to share the administrative, board, or staff member happenings at your organization, send announcements to [email protected] or add us to your PR lists. 

 

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NEA Announces $140,000 in Grant Funds to 4 ACSO Members

On January 24, 2024, The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) announced the first round of recommended awards for fiscal year 2024, with more than $32 million in funding to support the arts nationwide. This is the first of the NEA’s two major grant announcements each fiscal year and includes grants to organizations through the NEA’s Grants for Arts Projects, Challenge America, Research Grants in the Arts, and Research Labs categories. Four ACSO members have been selected to receive grants totaling $140,000 in funding (see list below). For the full announcement from the NEA, please click here.

NEA Chair Maria Rosario Jackson, PhD said, “The NEA is pleased to announce these grants, all of which strengthen our nation’s arts sector in different ways. Whether it’s the creation of new art, opportunities for the public to participate and engage in the arts, or work to better understand the impact of the arts, these grants contribute to the well-being of individuals and communities, help meet the challenges of our time, and build towards a future in which all people can lead artful lives and reach their full potential.”

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ACSO Guest Blog: Six Key Steps for a Successful (and Joyful) CBA Negotiation Process

Create the Possibility for the Organizational Impact You Really Want

By Kathryn R MartinPresident & CEO, Santa Barbara Symphony 

During COVID, the Santa Barbara Symphony created innovative paths forward that could only have been created collaboratively with the musicians (and the venue). In Spring 2023, in the midst of a multi-year financial turn-around, with echoes of mistrust and misinformation from the previous administration, and with a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) set to expire on June 30thwe drew upon this collaborative process when we went to the table to negotiate a new contract with our musiciansI learned a lot.
      




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ACSO and 12 of Our Members Receive Grants from the California Arts Council

On December 1, 2023, the California Arts Council (CAC) announced 856 grant awards totaling more than $32.75 million in overall projected investments for operational and project support to nonprofit organizations and units of government throughout the state of California.

In this 2023 grant cycle, ACSO and 12 of our orchestra members received grants totaling $457,463, as did 14 additional orchestras and music organizations that received grants totaling total of $471,750. This is a nearly $1million investment of public funds in our sector.

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Up & Down the Scale: June to October 2023

We are excited to share the latest developments and changes in the professional lives of our members. This edition of Up & Down the Scale covers orchestra administrative announcements made from June through October 2023. If you want to share the administrative, board, or staff member happenings at your organization, send announcements to [email protected] or add us to your PR lists. 

Berkeley Symphony received a gift of $1.5 Million from Gordon Getty to support its future growth.

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ACSO Celebrates National Arts & Humanities Month by Highlighting our Members Participating in the California Festival

National Arts & Humanitites Month logoACSO joins thousands of arts organizations and communities across the nation to recognize October as National Arts & Humanities Month (NAHM). NAHM is coordinated by Americans for the Arts, the national organization working to empower communities with the resources and support necessary to provide access to all of the arts for all of the people. It is a coast-to-coast collective recognition of the importance of art and culture in America during the month of October with goals of:

  • FOCUSING on equitable access to the arts at local, state, and national levels;
  • ENCOURAGING individuals, organizations, and diverse communities to participate in the arts;
  • ALLOWING governments and businesses to show their support of the arts; and
  • RAISING public awareness about the role the arts and humanities play in our communities and lives.

Learn more about how your organization can get involved here.

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ACSO Announces New Officers and Board Members for 2023-24

During ACSO's Annual Meeting on Thursday, August 17, 2023, ACSO members welcomed new board officers for 2023/24 and elected six new board members. Congratulations!

2023/24 BOARD OFFICERS


Elizabeth Shribman
President
Chief of Staff
San Francisco Symphony



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95 Organizations Throughout California Join in the California Festival, Nov 3-19, 2023

95 Organizations Throughout the State of California
Announce Programs Featuring Music Composed Within the Last Five Years
As They Join in The California Festival:
Two Weeks of Innovative and Compelling Music from Around the World,
November 3-19, 2023

LOS ANGELES (August 1, 2023)—The Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Diego Symphony and San Francisco Symphony today announced that 95 organizations will participate in the California Festival: A Celebration of New Music, presenting some of the most innovative and compelling music from around the world for two weeks, November 3-19, 2023, in venues throughout the state. Announced in January 2023 and conceived by LA Phil Music & Artistic Director Gustavo Dudamel, San Diego Symphony Music Director Rafael Payare and San Francisco Symphony Music Director Esa-Pekka Salonen, and the California Festival highlights the collaborative and innovative spirit that thrives in California by inviting musical organizations of all kinds to incorporate works written within the past five years into their broader season programs.



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ACSO Announces 2023 Award Recipients

The Association of California Symphony Orchestras (ACSO) is pleased to announce the 2023 recipients of the Executive Leadership Award, Emerging Professional Award, and Most Valuable Player (MVP) Volunteer Awards, and the inaugural recipients of the new Young Musician Leadership Award and Social Impact Award. Congratulations to all the worthy recipients and nominees!

ACSO’s annual awards program recognizes remarkable individuals and organizations within ACSO’s membership network for their meaningful contributions to the orchestra field.

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ACSO Guest Blog: US Space Force Song Finds Its Place in Independence Day Concerts

By Retired Major Brian Dix, US Marine Corps, and active conductor and composer from San Diego

In a delightful turn of events, this year's Independence Day concerts will feature a newly adopted song of the US Space Force, “Sempra Supra”. However, if your ensemble's performance of the "Armed Forces Service Song Medley" was arranged prior to September 2022, the music might be incomplete. Fear not, for a quick remedy awaits you.

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Up & Down the Scale: February to May 2023

We are excited to share the latest developments and changes in the professional lives of our members. This edition of Up & Down the Scale covers orchestra administrative announcements made from February to May 2023. If you want to share the administrative, board, or staff member happenings at your organization, send announcements to [email protected] or add us to your PR lists. 

 

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NEA Announces $256,000 in Grants Funds to ACSO and 9 of its Members

On May 24, 2023, The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) announced the second round of recommended awards for fiscal year 2023, with more than $103 million in funding to support the arts nationwide. This is the second of the NEA’s two major grant announcements each fiscal year and includes grants to organizations through the NEA’s Grants for Arts Projects, Our Town, and State and Regional Partnership categories. 

ACSO and nine of its members have been selected to receive Grants for Arts Projects in the Music and Arts Education categories, totaling $256,000 in funding (see list below). For the full announcement from the NEA, please click here.

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Lead by Example - A Call for ACSO Board Candidates

ACSO is seeking new board members to serve three-year terms beginning on October 1, 2023 OR beginning October 1, 2024. We are looking for individuals who are dedicated to guiding the organization’s growth, forward momentum, and leadership in the field and will help expand ACSO's capacity to serve its members.

You could be a great fit for ACSO if…

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ACSO 2023 Annual Conference Inspires, Revitalizes, and Connects Communities

ASSOCIATION OF CALIFORNIA SYMPHONY ORCHESTRAS‘ ANNUAL CONFERENCE 
INSPIRES, REVITALIZES, AND CONNECTS COMMUNITIES

Los Angeles, CA (May 19, 2023) – The Association of California Symphony Orchestras (ACSO) Annual Conference is back in person for the first time in four years, and for the first time in the organization's 54-year history, it takes place in the Inland Empire. The conference is being held at the historic Mission Inn Hotel & Spa in Riverside, CA from August 16 - 18, 2023 and is hosted by the San Bernardino Symphony Orchestra, in partnership with the Redlands Symphony and the Riverside Philharmonic.

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ACSO 2023 Festivals Guide: Find a Summer Festival Near You

The 2023 summer music festival season is here! Artists and live music lovers from all over the world are coming to California and the Western U.S. to experience a unique blend of music-making, camaraderie, and scenic beauty. The Association of California Symphony Orchestras (ACSO) is pleased to share this summer's offerings from our festival members, highlighting a vital and vibrant way for artists and audiences alike to deeply engage in classical music in picturesque, unique communities.

No two festivals are exactly alike, yet each share one common thread: a love and respect for composers, musicians, and the communities in which they are rooted. There are many opportunities to experience world-class performances and connect with the artists who bring these great works of art to life.

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ACSO Guest Blog : The Cult of Perfectionism

By Jenny Darlington-Person, Executive Director of Music in the Mountains

Adversity - whether it’s a global pandemic, a fire, or the worst winter in 50 years, forces us to reassess our priorities.  

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ACSO Guest Blog: A Zillennial's Guide to Work-Life Balance: Working in Non-Profit Arts Administration

A Zillennial’s Guide to Work-Life Balance: Working in Non-Profit Arts Administration 
By Tiffany Fajardo, Patron Experience and Community Engagement (PEACE) Manager, Berkeley Symphony 

Hi, I’m Tiffany, a 2018 college grad, born in the year 1996, right on the cutoff between the youngest Millennials and the eldest Gen Z. For some context, I missed my 6th day of kindergarten because 9/11 happened. My generation, the weird gap between the kids who grew up with their only internet source being the computer room at their school libraries and the kids who were born with internet readily available in any room in their homes, has seen the tail end of the “college is the only way to be successful” and the rise of the “college doesn’t actually give you much of a leg up and actually just leaves you with a ton of debt” narratives. This perspective has shaped my own relationship with work-life balance to a pretty solid science, and I am here to share with you my wisdom on how to embody both sides of the coin.

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George S. Clinton & Holly Mulcahy to Bring "The Rose of Sonora" to Symphonies Nationwide

 A Sponsored Ad from The Rose of Sonora

 

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