11035619_797356547020886_2607414264220021836_nSymphony, Suds and Cider, February 2015

With the aim of attracting more 20 and 30 year-olds to the Minnesota Orchestra, a pilot project was developed in partnership with Sociable Cider Werks, one of the Twin Cities leading micro-breweries.  In initial programs launched on February 19 and 26, 2015, a brass quintet from the Orchestra played to enthusiastic crowds and musicians talked with patrons who were offered exclusive concert discounts and invitations to behind-the-scenes concert experiences at Orchestra Hall.  The initial project was so successful that Symphony and Suds has been incorporated into the regular Minnesota Orchestra programming.   During the 2015-16 season Minnesota Orchestra musicians attracted overflow crowds with micro concerts at six local breweries.  Fans had to be turned away at Sociable Cider Werks in April and an audience of over 1,000 packed Surly Brewing Co. in May. To see photos and read more, click here.


IMG_1994All Together Now! Mosaic, September 2014

At the Community Celebration held to celebrate the return of the Minnesota Orchestra and conductor Osmo Vänskä for the 2014-15 season, Orchestrate Excellence initiated a project to symbolize the theme of the celebration:  All Together Now!  A large mosaic banner composed of photos of the musicians, board and staff was on display in the Target Atrium and photographers took photos of almost 1,300 orchestra attendees to incorporate into the final banner.  The final All Together Now! Mosaic, which was 12 feet tall, was unveiled in February, 2015 and donated to the Minnesota Orchestra to hang permanently at Orchestra Hall.  To see more photos and remarks from the unveiling ceremony, click here.


Youth Market Research Study, Summer 2014

In June, 2014, Orchestrate Excellence was invited to be a part of a short-term task force comprised of Minnesota Orchestra staff and board members, musicians and members of community groups.  During the discussions, Ken Huber, an Orchestrate Excellence steering committee member, suggested that the Orchestra was not reaching 20/30-year-old prospective audiences.  He saw a need to investigate that gap by listening to young people talk about their lives, concert-going habits, and preferred communication formats.  The result was a series of six focus groups held during June and July with a total of 68 participants and an exhaustive report, “Attracting Younger Audiences,” delivered to the Minnesota Orchestral Association on September 2, 2014.  To read more about the methodology and objectives of the study and the changes it has engendered over the past year, click here.

What Is a World-Class Orchestra?  December 2013

During the lockout, the artistic vision for the orchestra became a key concern.  Musicians, community groups, Community Forum members and many board members voiced strong support for achieving and sustaining world-class artistic status. There did not, however, seem to be a common definition of the term, so we encouraged people to weigh in with their thoughts.  Read the definition given by Dr. Alan Fletcher, forum keynote speaker, and comments by Orchestrate Excellence members.


Community Forum, August 2013

A Community Forum hosted by Orchestrate Excellence and held at Westminster Presbyterian Church in downtown Minneapolis provided a singular opportunity for more than 600 citizens to come together to voice their support for our Minnesota Orchestra.  The focus was on the future and how to support the Orchestra after the lockout ended.  A report on the forum was sent to the Minnesota Orchestra management and board, to the musicians, and to key elected officials including Mayor Rybak and Governor Dayton.

Information about the forum includes:  Future of the Minnesota Orchestra Summary Report, Dr. Alan Fletcher’s Keynote Address, Press Reports and Live Stream, Transcripts of Break-out Groups.

A Tale of Two Orchestras, Minnesota and Cleveland, April 2013

A detailed analysis of the financial results of two of America’s top ten  orchestras, The Cleveland Orchestra and the Minnesota Orchestra, including comparative data, charts and findings on the two communities, revenues, endowments, investments, advertising and promotion.  The report was shared with the board, management and musicians with the goal of exploring how the orchestra could become financially secure while maintaining artistic excellence.   For a copy of the report, click here.