Conference Schedule

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Thursday, August 9, 2018

8:30 am - 5:00 pm
Registration/Exhibitor Marketplace Open

9:00 – 9:45 am
Conference Orientation (optional)
Begin your 2018 Annual Conference experience on the right foot with this essential session that presents all aspects, enabling you to customize the conference to your specific needs and interest. Also, this session will answer the question “Does ACSO do anything besides the annual conference?” Spoiler alert: the answer is “YES!” We will give you a quick overview about ACSO’s programs and services and take some time for you to meet each other and give us valuable feedback on what you’d like to see ACSO do more of (or less of) in the future. And there may even be awards for participation.

Sponsored by Kathryn M. Martin Consulting

10:00 – 11:30 am
Opening Plenary and Musical Moment: Music Directors - One Size Does Not Fit All

Engaging communities in the creation, performance, and enjoyment of classical music is vital to sustaining a healthy and vibrant art form for future generations, and a music director is key to building a bridge between an orchestra and its community. Hear from a panel of music directors who come to the podium with different backgrounds, education, and life experiences. Some have been a fixture in their communities for years and some have newly arrived. Listen as they discuss their creative process, experience working within their communities, methods on building relationships with their musicians, and thoughts on the future of the field.

  • Rei Hotoda, music director, Fresno Philharmonic
  • Michael Morgan, music director, Oakland Symphony and Bear Valley Music Festival
  • Alice Sauro, executive director, Sacramento Philharmonic and Opera
  • Scott Seaton, music director, North State Symphony 

Musical Moment provided by the Sacramento Philharmonic & Opera.

Sponsored by Robert Swaney Consulting, Inc.

11:45 am – 1:00 pm
Breakout Sessions

Before the Flood (or Fire): Emergency Preparedness Strategies and Resources
From fires and mudslides to active shooter situations and sudden personnel changes, performing arts organizations must deal with events ranging from minor emergencies to large-scale disasters. These unexpected events may disrupt performances, or pose public relations concerns. This session will include brief updates from California colleagues who dealt with the 2017 wildfires, and provide information on good practices for emergency preparedness and business continuity. Performing Arts Readiness Project (PAR) Director, Tom Clareson, and PAR Performing Arts Coordinator and Executive Director of the National Coalition for Arts’ Preparedness & Emergency Response (NCAPER), Janet Newcomb, will provide up-to-the-minute examples of preparedness and recovery resources and strategies.

  • Tom Clareson, project director, Performing Arts Readiness Project
  • Jamei Haswell, board chair, Santa Rosa Symphony
  • Kevin Marvin, executive director, Santa Barbara Symphony
  • Janet Newcomb, performing arts coordinator, Performing Arts Readiness Project


Network Like a Star: Turning Casual Contacts into Lifelong Colleagues

Networking is the building block of any profession, but it doesn’t have to be work. Connecting to the people, places, and ideas that move your organization and your career forward can be as rewarding as it is fun. Mastering this art, including meeting preparation and participant research, goal setting, active listening, and engaged responding can help you build your circle of influence and make good friends. As a bonus, in this session you’ll also come away with expert advice on how to get out of that conversation that’s going nowhere and avoiding that topic you hate that everyone wants to ask you about. Get prepared for your next connecting opportunity by participating in this interactive session of facilitated tip-sharing, engagement exercises and lots of fun. With a background in theater, and a knack for connecting to career gatekeepers, panelists will lead participants through networking skill-building activities that can be practiced throughout the rest of the ACSO’s annual conference to help build connections and strengthen networks.

  • Nicola Samra, executive director, Monterey Symphony
  • Scott Vandrick, chief development officer, Pasadena Symphony Association
  • John Wineglass, composer, JW Productions, LLC

Six Strategies to Exponentially Improve Organizational Performance
No matter how large and successful an organization may be, almost every nonprofit feels it could use more cash to accomplish its work. Here are six strategies that cost little to no money at all, but can produce an overly abundant return on investment. Implementing any of these six strategies can assist a nonprofit in reaching new operational and financial heights. However, incorporating all six into your organization’s daily focus should exponentially increase its sustainability for years to come.

  • Paul Jan Zdunek, managing director, nonprofit and education advisory services, BDO

Unlocking the Door to Good Governance -- Your Board Holds the Key
California residents benefit enormously from the many great orchestras that exist throughout our state. These orchestras are sustained by generous donors and patrons, committed staff members, and boards of directors who bear a critical responsibility to govern in the most effective, ethical, and independent way possible. Too often, however, boards are comprised of good people who don’t really understand their governing role. Many boards struggle with issues of culture, structure, and focus, and senior staff members don’t know how to effectively engage and deploy the organization’s board. Join us for a session in which we will learn about principles of good governance and address related challenges facing board members and CEOs. 

  • Terry Knowles, independent consultant for nonprofits and former CEO, Los Angeles Master Chorale


1:00 – 2:15 pm
Networking Lunch on your Own

2:30 – 3:45 pm
Breakout Sessions

Curating Your Career / Life – What’s next, and how do you really know?  
Are you feeling like you may be at an important crossroads? Or feeling a pull towards creating a next chapter? Whether you are at the beginning of your career, mid-, or late-career, there’s lots of excellent career development advice and recruiting resources available to you – and many here at Conference. But how do you know what’s “right” for you? How long do you need to stay in your job? What is the best path to continue to advance and be successful? When is the right time to retire, and what will you do next? The answers? They depend on what you (really) want – in terms of impact, living in your purpose, and work-life rhythm. The good news? You’re already moving! Now leverage YOU to have the impact you are meant to achieve. Participants will be led through a series of exercises and mini-coaching to begin revealing your strategic trajectory and impact vocabulary, test assumptions, breakthrough limiting beliefs, and create deeper insights on the Big Question: What should I do next?

  • Kathryn R. Martin, organizational and leadership coach
  • Nicola Samra, executive director, Monterey Symphony

Does Your Orchestra Need a Rebrand? The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
Rebranding is more than changing your logo and tagline. It's your association's personality, your promise to your members, and your value proposition. A successful rebrand could increase membership, member engagement, and revenue. But how do you know if your rebrand is right for you? And how do you determine the timing and the level of rebrand needed, get Board buy-in, and measure ROI? Using a mix of interactive activities and presentation, get the information needed to help you determine whether your association needs a rebrand, to what extent, how to get buy-in, and how to launch and measure your efforts.

  • Donte P. Shannon, CAE, executive director, Specialty Advertising Association of California

Navigating a Music Director Transition
Is your music director retiring? Are you thinking of replacing your conductor? Music director transitions can be difficult for the organization, musicians, audiences, and the community. Successfully navigating one takes time, organization, and detail. Hear from leaders in the field who have addressed this transition from all different points of the process – from an orchestra that has had its new music director for just a year, an orchestra that just announced its new conductor, and an orchestra’s executive director who inherited the search in her first year. If you foresee a new music director in your near future, let the panelists' experiences reduce some possible pain points in the process.

  • Catherine Lansdowne, executive director, San Luis Obispo Symphony
  • Alan Silow, president & CEO, Santa Rosa Symphony
  • Stephen Wilson, president & CEO, Fresno Philharmonic

Who’s Sitting in Your Seats? Leveraging Patron Data for Richer Engagement and Audience Development
Most organizations only know one-third of the audience members sitting in their seats. The other two-thirds -- or the non-ticket buyers -- remain a mystery. New in-venue engagement technologies are changing the house map by de-anonymizing audience members and providing a full, 360-degree view of who sits in your seats on any given night. By linking ticket transaction data with on-site patron data – acquired via wifi, social check-ins, pixels, and native apps – your venue can employ applications in audience mining, local cross-promotion, and ancillary data monetization that lead to richer patron data, deeper relationships, and more effective marketing opportunities.

  • Sarah Hutton, director of sales, Choice Entertainment Technologies

4:00 – 5:15 pm
Peer Forums
Start a conversation, share ideas, ask questions, offer opinions. In these give-and-take sessions, you can join your counterparts at other orchestras or meet with similarly-sized organizations to listen, learn, share, and collaborate.

5:30 – 6:30 pm
President’s Reception
This is an opportunity for ACSO to thank our Individual Member-Donors and our Conference Sponsors at a casual gathering that includes drinks and light appetizers. Have a drink on us, network with one other, and know how much ACSO appreciates your support. Please note: you must be (or become) a Contributing Member Level ($150 or above) to attend this reception. You can buy or upgrade your membership at the registration table or onsite at the reception.

7:30 – 10:00 pm 
Mamma Mia
Broadway Sacramento – Wells Fargo Pavilion 
Music Circus is a truly unique musical theatre experience, renowned by theatre professionals and fans across the country. Each summer the Music Circus series features new productions of classic musicals with some of the most talented professional actors available, Tony-winning Broadway veterans, and stars film and TV. The theatre-in-the-round setting puts audiences so close to the action that they feel like part of the show. It’s been a summer tradition in Sacramento for generations. The Pit Orchestra includes musicians from the Sacramento Philharmonic & Opera. Mamma Mia Summary: On the eve of her wedding, a daughter’s quest to discover the identity of her father brings three men from her mother’s past back to an island paradise. Featuring over 20 ABBA songs, including the hits “Dancing Queen” and “Take a Chance on Me,” this high-spirited, feel-good international sensation will have you singing and dancing in the aisles. $60 tickets in the ACSO block; otherwise, performance is SOLD OUT. LIMITED TICKETS REMAIN IN THE ACSO BLOCK