January 12–15, 2017
Westin New York at Times Square


2017 National Conference Sessions

Toolbox Sessions will focus on acquiring or increasing skills, techniques, or knowledge to help registrants understand and embrace evolving best practices in one or more aspects of their professional work.
Innovation Sessions will focus on new ideas, concepts, or modes that inspire and challenge registrants through the exploration of successful yet unfamiliar approaches or perspectives.

Friday, January 13, 2017

DIY Concert Publicity
2:00 PM – 3:10 PM

Learn the fundamentals of a successful publicity campaign from four leading specialists. Topics include: determining your goal; meeting media deadlines and utilizing lead time; using social media to maximum effect; the elements of an effective press release; creating a press list; and follow-up and relationship-building. This introductory session is designed for presenters who want to help visiting artists help themselves, and artists who run a concert series but have no budget for a professional publicist.

Gail Wein, President, Classical Music Communications, Inc.
Matt Merewitz, Founder, Fully Altered Media
Stuart Wolferman, President, Unfinished Side Productions
Shira Gilbert, Principal, Shira Gilbert PR, Inc.

Teams Without Borders: Collaborating Virtually
2:00 PM – 3:10 PM

Organizations with members scattered across different cities are managed increasingly by ‘virtual team administrators'—but not without certain challenges. Seth Brenzel, executive director of The Walden School, will discuss how he coordinates and supports his national team of staff, faculty, and artists, with a focus on effective methods for navigating schedules and time zones, sharing centralized materials, and coordinating meetings, spaces, and decision-making. Panelists include professionals whose staff members live throughout the country and who have a modular organizational structure that allows them to operate from their home bases.

Seth Brenzel, Executive Director, The Walden School
Matt Levy, Executive Director, PRISM Saxophone Quartet
Ben Melsky, Executive Director, Dal Niente Ensemble
Vanessa Rose, Executive Director, International Contemporary Ensemble

Be Informed: Data-Based Decision-Making
3:20 PM – 4:30 PM

The prospect of collecting audience data can be daunting—where to begin, how to get it done, and how much will it cost? Hear how two very different organizations approach information-gathering; what they wanted to learn, what they actually learned, and how they used it to further their mission and goals. Learn about techniques and strategies for collecting your own data that will help you to better understand your current audiences and those you want to reach.

Lucas Held, Director of Communications, The Wallace Foundation
Sara Billmann, Director of Marketing & Communications, University Musical Society
Paola Prestini, Composer; Executive Director/Creative Director, National Sawdust

Balancing Innovation and Tradition
3:20 PM – 4:30 PM

Programming and repertoire choices are often caught between two competing concerns: staying true to the artist’s identity and acknowledging the reality of what sells tickets. In this session, we’ll explore how programming choices can reveal an artist’s personality, discuss examples of successful and innovative projects, and brainstorm strategies for how to program challenging, new, or lesser-known repertoire successfully.

John Zion, Managing Director, MKI Artists
Valerie Coleman, Flutist, Imani Winds
William Fedkenheuer, Violinist, Miró Quartet
Barry Kempton, Artistic & Executive Director, The Schubert Club
Elio Villafranca, Pianist, The Jass Syncopators

The Art of the In-Home Concert
4:40 PM – 5:50 PM

As traditional venues become less and less reliable as outlets for chamber music, entrepreneurial musicians are increasingly turning to a variety of alternative venues to connect with audiences. Jeremy Siskind and his chamber jazz trio have performed over one hundred house concerts in twenty-four different states in the past three years alone. In this presentation, Siskind will discuss how to organize a successful in-home concert, how to find appropriate hosts, and how to monetize the engagement most effectively. He’ll also explain why the in-home experience is especially well-suited to outreach, education, and enhanced creativity.

Jeremy Siskind, Assistant Professor, Western Michigan University
Anne Dvinge, Founder/CEO, Low-Fi
Steve Lyman, Chairman of the Board; American Pianists Association
Kimball Gallagher, Pianist and Entrepreneur

Creating and Presenting Socially Conscious Music
4:40 PM – 5:50 PM

This discussion will cover a wide range of approaches to socially conscious art-making, with a particular emphasis on impact. Panelists will explore the reciprocity of influence (how a given cause can both benefit from and enrich the music itself), personal and artistic relationships to social justice issues, and the range of possible outcomes—ranging from pure artistic expression to concrete objectives of fund-raising or cause-based education. Attendees will leave better equipped to integrate social consciousness and their music in a manner fully-aligned with their personal goals.

Noah Baerman, Artistic Director, Resonant Motion, Inc.
Jay Hoggard, Adjunct Full Professor of Music, Wesleyan University
Sumi Tonooka, Pianist
Sunny Jain, Bandleader, Red Baraat
Brian Chin, Artistic Director, Universal Language Project

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Music Notation for Collaboration
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM

Noteflight allows anyone to create, record, and share music on the web, providing countless new opportunities for collaboration. Learn how composers, ensembles, teachers, and students can easily share and collaborate on musical scores, and join in a discussion of other upcoming advancements in digital music.
Sponsored by Noteflight

John Mlynczak, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Noteflight

Better Together: Building Collaborations That Work
1:00 PM – 2:15 PM

When artists, students, and patrons join forces under one roof, the result is often greater than the sum of its parts. Since 2011, Music at Kohl Mansion, a chamber series, and Young Chamber Musicians, an advanced pre-college training program, have successfully partnered to leverage their resources and create a thriving musical community with artistic, educational, and financial benefits for all parties. This session will explore how a successful collaboration can expand opportunities for performers, expose students to live concerts and masterclasses, develop and diversify audiences, and enrich the local community.

Kai Christiansen, Founder, earsense
Susan Bates, Founder & Director, Young Chamber Musicians
Patricia Kristof Moy, Executive Director, Music at Kohl Mansion

Education Overdrive: Using Online Technology to Enhance Live Programming in Schools
1:00 PM – 2:15 PM

This session introduces an innovative web-based approach to student engagement known as "Interactive Learning Packages.” ILPs pair live, in-school chamber music performances with a set of online experiences that introduce students to an ensemble and their music-making long before the group ever hits the school's door. Learn how these new technologies can help measure and enhance the efficacy of live ensemble music programs in schools.

Stephen Wogaman, President, Chamber Music Society of Detroit
Dr. Alex Ruthmann, Director, Music Experience Design Lab, New York University
Dr. Jackie Wiggins, Professor and Department Chair, Oakland University Department of Music, Theatre, and Dance
Alan Richardson, Cellist, Aeolus Quartet

Long-Term Relationship-Building in Communities
2:30 PM – 3:45 PM

Responding to the needs of the communities we serve takes time and commitment. In this session, a manager and three seasoned community-based musicians will share their latest tools and best practices for building sustained partnerships between presenters, audiences, and artists, with a particular focus on cultural competency. Learn to be reflective, listen closely to constituents, and identify which parts of your individual offerings support community partnerships.

Armando Castellano, Director and Horn, Quinteto Latino
Nancy Christensen, Founder and President, Christensen Arts
Rose French, Founder and Horn, Mill Ave Chamber Players
Jessica Meyer, Performer/Composer

Artistic Fireworks: The Case for Interdisciplinary Collaboration
2:30 PM – 3:45 PM

Four successful performers and communicators—and one physicist—with extensive experience in multi-disciplinary collaboration will focus on the inspiring possibilities (and challenges) of pursuing unique interdisciplinary combinations and themes. Moderated by composer and seasoned presenter Laura Kaminsky, the panelists will share how their projects grew from initial concept to successful execution, comparing and contrasting their respective experiences. Video work samples from a variety of other projects will be included.

Laura Kaminsky, Composer-In-Residence/Faculty, American Opera Projects, Conservatory of Music SUNY Purchase
Jane Ira Bloom, Soprano Saxophonist/Composer
Dr. Robert Davies, Physicist, Utah Climate Center
Rebecca McFaul, Violinist, Fry Street Quartet
Sugar Vendil, Pianist, The Nouveau Classical Project

The New Reality: Distributing Your Music in the 21st Century
4:00 PM – 5:15 PM

Recording your music and making an album were among the most reliable methods of getting a career off the ground, creating a reputation, and making money. Today, musicians rarely make significant income from their recordings—though other benefits remain. This clinic will walk attendees through the steps of planning, executing, and distributing recorded music with the objective of maximizing its value.

Eugene Marlow, President, MEII Enterprises

Fundraising Fundamentals for a Changing Field
4:00 PM – 5:15 PM

The delicate work of fundraising and patron development for performing arts organizations is evolving as rapidly as the performing arts field itself, but patron and donor relationships remain a foundational necessity upon which most arts organizations depend. In this session, one of the nation’s leading authorities on organizational resource-building will share his insights about the fundamentals of fundraising, and how those fundamentals are changing to meet the challenges of an increasingly unpredictable environment.

Paul Hogle, President, Cleveland Institute of Music


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