The Millennials’ Orchestra: Millennial Generation Audiences & Donors

Social media, the Internet, and mobile technology are considered to be key to connecting, interacting, and building relationships between Millennials and arts organizations. Read more of my research on engaging Millennial generation audiences and donors in my latest blog post. Continue reading

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Google+ moves up in the popularity polls, taking second place in social media

“Facebook still has a massive lead, but Google+, with 343-million active users, is now the second most popular social network.” – ZDNet

Not too long ago, I wrote about Google+ taking the bronze in social media and its potential for enhancing community engagement with nonprofit arts organizations.  It was recently reported that Google+ has now taken second place, claiming the silver medal in social media.

  • What are you ideas for Google+ engagement in the arts?
  • Have you taken advantage of Google+ Communities and/or Hangouts with your audiences?
  • What are your goals regarding social media arts engagement for the new year?

Can’t wait to hear from you!  Thanks for stopping by.

Source: GlobalWebIndex at http://globalwebindex.net/blog/

Symphony orchestras going mobile? App-solutely!

With the use of mobile apps on the rise, I was curious to see how many symphony orchestras have embraced the trend.

Orchestra apps are making it easier for fans to follow the latest news, find event information, buy tickets, make donations, listen to music samples, watch videos, learn about conductors and musicians, access driving and parking information, and more…all on their mobile devices.

There were a few orchestras that I expected to find, including the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, and the San Francisco Symphony.  There were several that I was pleasantly surprised to see!  Although I am rather impressed by the number of symphony orchestra apps already available, I feel there is great potential for this list, as well as patron engagement, to grow.

Which symphony orchestras did I find in the rapidly expanding mobile app-mosphere?

New finds!

Classical Music Apps:
WQXR – New York’s Classical Music Radio Station – released the Top 5 Classical Music Apps (top 5 @ 105) in 2011, including:

  1. Bachtrack – search by composer, work, choreographer, performer, country, city, venue or any combination of these.
  2. Boston Symphony Orchestra – BSO Media Center: WebTV provides virtual concert-going experience (Press release)
  3. Medici.tv – subscribe, rent films, and watch live webcasts
  4. iGendyn – entertaining sound synthesis app
  5. Mahler Translation – Nearly 2300 English translations of German musical words and phrases found in Gustav Mahler’s symphonic works.

You may find other WQXR Top 5 lists from 2012 that interest you:

I want to hear from you! (@CStarek; www.mezzaphonicallyspeaking.wordpress.com; Google+)

  1. Would you consider downloading your local orchestra’s mobile app?
  2. What are your initial reactions to this service?
  3. What are your thoughts for the future of symphony orchestra engagement?

The Millennials’ Orchestra: Engaging Younger Symphony Audiences and Donors in the Classical Music Experience

The Millennials’ Orchestra: Engaging Younger Symphony Audiences and Donors in the Classical Music Experience

Millennial generation – “Generations, like people, have personalities, and Millennials – the American teens and twenty-somethings (ages 18-29) who are making the passage into adulthood at the start of a new millennium – have begun to forge theirs: confident, self-expressive, liberal, upbeat and open to change.”[1]

YouTube Symphony Orchestra
Sydney, Australia 2011

It is no secret that symphony orchestras are facing hard and changing times.  In addition to the challenges posed by the struggling economy, symphony audiences are continuing to increase in age as overall attendance continues to decline (Alan Brown’s Classical Music Consumer Segmentation Study and Thomas Wolf’s “The Search for Shining Eyes”).  This decline has been most dramatic among young adults over the past thirty years.  Without adequate numbers of younger people to eventually replace current audiences, the future of symphony orchestras in the US has been called into question.  Despite the doom and gloom of bankruptcy announcements and foreclosures in the world of symphony orchestras, some organizations are managing to adapt and survive through innovative programming and by offering greater opportunities for audience engagement.

The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Brooklyn Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, Chicago Symphony, and Detroit Symphony Orchestra have gained attention for their ability to engage 21st century audiences in the concert experience through 21st century means – the BSO’s Off the Cuff and Webumentaries series; Brooklyn Phil’s Beethoven Remix (click here for finalists) and collaboration with Mos Def; San Francisco Symphony’s Keeping Score and conductor MTT’s TEDTalks; Chicago Symphony’s Beyond the Score; and Detroit Symphony’s webcasts.  I believe that engaging the Millennial generation as members of the audience and as donors will increase the potential for these symphony orchestras, as well as other arts organizations, to maintain and sustain future success.  Not only would this help fill an ever-growing void in audience attendance, it would also lend to renewed interest and excitement in orchestral work and foster future generations of support for music and the arts.

As a member of the Millennial generation, I am excited to meet and talk with other Millennials who are passionate about symphony orchestras, classical music, and the arts.  As arts managers we must know how to attract and engage these individuals in ways that resonate with their rapidly evolving interests and needs (Pew Research Center – Millennials: A Portrait of Generation Next) , while retaining the current audiences and donors already supporting our organizations.  In general, Millennials are eager to get involved, take on leadership roles, and contribute time and money to philanthropic efforts in nonprofit organizations (see Millennial Impact Report).  Symphony orchestras are beginning to take notice and placing greater emphasis on engaging these younger audiences and donors in exciting and relevant ways.

It is an honor to be the guest host of #ArtsMgtChat in the upcoming discussion The Millennials’ Orchestra: Engaging Younger Symphony Audiences and Donors in the Classical Music Experience.  I look forward to hearing your ideas on engaging Millennials in the performing arts!

Discussion questions:

  1. As an arts consumer and arts manager, what are some of the major barriers to symphony orchestras and classical music?
  2. What are professional symphony orchestras doing well to engage the Millennial generation?
  3. What role(s) do Millennials play in and for your organization?
  4. How much priority should Millennials be given in the nonprofit arts?
  5. What marketing strategies does your organization have in place for targeting and attracting younger audiences?
  6. Does your organization have development programs and/or opportunities for younger donors?
  7. How important is mobile and social media technology for engaging audiences and donors?
  8. How have you been involved with music in your life?

[1] PewResearchCenter, 2010, Millennials: Confident-Connected-Open to Change, In Millennials: A Portrait of Generation Next, edited by Paul Taylor and Scott Keeter: Pew Research Center.