The State of Orchestras in the U.S.

When board members of orchestras from around the country get together, they talk about the usual things—what’s the current bank balance, what’s the marketing plan for the next concert, what’s the tally on ticket sales, who wants to volunteer for the next this or that event. And once in a while they talk about the state of orchestra health around the country.

The League of American Orchestras has recently published a new study to help answer that question. Orchestra Facts: 2006-2014 digs into the details about orchestra finances and operations in the United States, revealing the many ways orchestras of all sizes and in all regions strive to remain relevant in their particular communities.

A few facts from this new study, using figures from 2014:

  • There are 1,224 orchestras in the United States
  • Orchestras contribute $1.8 billion to the U.S. economy
  • The majority of U.S. orchestras operate with budgets under $300,000
  • The average orchestra’s income breakdown is this—40% ticket sales; 43% contributed income; 17% investment income
  • 25 million audience members attended roughly 28,000 performances and events

There is quite a bit of information in this study, which you can read for yourself HERE, with insight into the challenges and opportunities that modern orchestras face in our shifting culture.

We who work behind the scenes of the Tuscarawas Philharmonic, recognizing we are stewards of a remarkable asset to the Tuscarawas Valley, are focused on these same challenges and opportunities as they apply to our place in the community. In our efforts, we are guided by our mission statement, which reads:

The mission of the Tuscarawas Philharmonic is to provide an exceptional musical experience for its audience and musicians alike, to foster knowledge of and appreciation for great music and to engage and inspire musicians with unique performance and educational opportunities. The Philharmonic also endeavors to establish itself as a long-term and essential contributor to the cultural fabric of our community.

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