ANN ARBOR SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA INC

Music in the Key of A2

aka A2SO   |   Ann Arbor, MI   |  www.a2so.com

Mission

The Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra is passionately committed to enriching the culture of the region we strive to attract, inspire and educate the most diverse audience possible, foster a growing appreciation for excellent music and regional talent, and provide imaginative programming through community involvement

Ruling year info

1966

Executive Director

Mr. Tyler Rand

Main address

35 Research Dr Ste 100

Ann Arbor, MI 48103 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

38-6069701

NTEE code info

Arts Education/Schools (A25)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

To fulfill our mission to attract and educate diverse audiences, provide imaginative programming and to foster appreciation for orchestral music, the A2SO serves people of all ages throughout the community from KinderConcerts for toddlers, to a wide selection of school programming for K-12, to concerts at Farmers Markets and for senior citizens. Each year there is more demand for these programs than there are funds to meet them. Ticket revenues cover only 40% of the cost of the symphony’s exceptional performances and education and community engagement programs. We need to rely on the generous support of individuals, foundations and corporations to bridge this gap to ensure our programs continue to thrive, engaging more than 80,000 people each year with life-changing musical experiences.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Mainstage Concerts

Seven full-length concerts with full orchestra, performed in Ann Arbor's historic Michigan Theater or Hill Auditorium. Repertoire includes classical masterpieces, as well as more modern and commissioned works. Audiences consist of young students through senior citizens. Ticket prices are variable, and seniors and students have discounted prices.

Population(s) Served

Free 30-minute concerts designed especially for children 2- to 5-years old. Members of the A2SO join a movement specialist and a pianist for a guided introduction to the instruments of the orchestra. Parents, grandparents, teachers and day care leaders introduce classical music to even the youngest listeners. Programs are held at local libraries.

Population(s) Served

The Family Concert Series includes a Fall Family Concert, and a Spring Family Concert. From 1-1/2 hours prior to the concert to 15 minutes prior, we have activities available for children with several community partners. There is always an Instrument Petting Zoo.

Population(s) Served

Link Up is a nation-wide music education program created by Carnegie Hall to unite the classroom with the concert hall. It gives students in grades 3-5 the opportunity to explore music through a year-long curriculum of classroom activities culminating with a concert during which the students perform with a professional orchestra. Schools participating in A2SO’s program come from a four-county area, some of whom are identified as underserved and Title I schools. The A2SO provides bussing subsidies for those schools which have no transportation resources.

A2SO provides curriculum materials to all students in participating schools, and a soprano recorder if needed, to study and play at the concert. By the time of the March concert, the students are familiar with the repertoire, and all will have an opportunity to play and sing along with members of the orchestra from their seats.

Population(s) Served

Each year, students from grades 6-8 attend a themed youth concert designed just for them to experience a real symphony concert at Hill Auditorium. This concert features longer, more complete and more sophisticated works from the orchestral repertoire. Narration, projected images and musical demonstrations help students be active and engaged listeners as they come to truly understand the pieces performed. Music for this concert is usually the same as music played on the closest mainstage concert.

The A2SO provides written teacher resource materials that are created in with an accompanying study CD and a teacher workshop to aid educators in preparing their students for a lifetime of concert experiences.
This concert features a young soloist who is usually the same soloist used on the Link Up concert. A Narrator or MC is also used. All pre-concert/concert slideshows and materials for this concert are created in house by education staff.

Population(s) Served

A2SO education & community engagement ensembles perform for K-8 students in the comfort of their own schools. Students are introduced to the sights and sounds of each family of instruments in the orchestra through carefully designed programs that support classroom instruction.
Musicians usually perform two back-to-back performances of 30-minutes each, with a 15-minute break between concerts, although some schools prefer to only have one performance. A visit is completed within the service time of 2½ hours. In recent years this format has been adapted to older band and orchestra classes to accommodate one performance followed by a short session of sectionals still under the same 2½ hours contract time constraint.

Population(s) Served

A unique, life-changing opportunity for student musicians to share the stage with Maestro Arie Lipsky and the musicians of your A2SO. Students and professionals work together to prepare for an unforgettable, shared concert experience. Each program is individually tailored to support the needs and abilities of the school orchestra.
A side-by-side ultimately consists of a joint performance between the A2SO and student ensemble. It would usually also consist of joint rehearsals, sectionals, coaching, etc.
A Back-to-back concert functions in the same way as a Side-by-side in terms of sectionals, coaching’s, etc. but instead of performing with the A2SO, students have their own concert on the first half of the program with the A2SO performing on the second half.

Population(s) Served

A2SO musicians perform daytime concerts in senior centers in Ann Arbor, Chelsea, Ypsilanti and Saline. Our goal in creating this series was and is to reach out to an under-served population of seniors who love great music, may be on a fixed income, who does not attend crowded venues, or doesn’t drive at night, or for caregivers to have an hour of respite.
These daytime hour-long concerts give seniors the opportunity to sit with friends, to share food and conversation before the concert, then to hear great chamber music performed by professional musicians and visiting guest performers. The intimate setting, short time span, and low cost of the concerts provide the perfect opportunity for people facing those challenges to participate.

Population(s) Served

Instrument Petting Zoos give kids a chance to bow a violin, pluck a cello and play other instruments they hear in the orchestra. The program teaches how vibrations become sound and sound becomes music. This program is most often held for daycares, preschools and grades K-5. In addition to petting zoos as an in-school program, we also use them as part of the A2SO family pre-concert activities and at booths during our “Taste of Music” and other festival style events.

Population(s) Served

Taste of Music is program that brings our chamber ensembles and instrument petting zoo programs to local farmers markets during the summer. Children or adults of all ages are welcome and invited to participate. During the market a chamber ensemble, usually the brass quintet or reed trio will perform two sets of 30-minutes each. There is also an Instrument Petting Zoo as part of the program. This program also includes a voucher program where patrons on food assistance can sign up for a voucher that is good for four free tickets to any symphony concert (limit 2 per concert) for the upcoming season while seats are available.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Artistic Excellence “Our quality must set us apart.”
A2SO presents high-quality concerts for all ages, all walks of life.
A2SO concerts provide a quality music experience to the life-long music lover as well as to the first-time trialist.
A2SO concerts create a warm and welcoming environment for all its guests.
A2SO Music Director is of the highest musical quality and is a leader with integrity.
A2SO Musicians are of the highest quality.

Community Presence
A2SO presents concerts for all ages, all walks of life, and represent cultural, ethnic, and demographic diversity.
A2SO educational concerts and events serve Washtenaw and surrounding counties to benefit all students in public, private and home schools, including minorities, disadvantaged and special-needs youth.
A2SO serves as a connector for promoting like-minded educational and arts focused non-profits and community organizations.

Financial Stability
Maintain balanced budget.
Operate effectively in our budget.
Maintain an operational reserve.
Provide “opportunity capital” to add, renew or upgrade programs, take part in serendipitous opportunities.
Develop capital to sustain operations through unforeseen situations.
Grow the endowments for long-term sustainability.
Sound organization and governance structure.

Fundraising Goals:
Fully sponsor each chair in the orchestra by 2019.
Build general endowment to $5M in 2020 to $10M by 2028.
Build the Podium Endowment to $3M by 2023
Fully endow each chair in the orchestra by 2028.
Cultivate planned gifts.
Grow the endowment by 10% annually

Sound organization and governance structure:
A2SO employs talented and motivated Staff.
A2SO Board supports and empowers Staff.
A2SO Staff are paid at competitive rates as well as fitting in organization’s finances.
A2SO Staff have the space and tools to do their jobs well.
A2SO is up to date on IT: hardware and software.
Music Director is to be paid at competitive rates as well as fitting in organization’s finances.
Musicians are to be paid at competitive rates as well as fitting in organization’s finances.

Artistic Excellence
*Seek creative collaborations with other arts and cultural organizations in the area including the UMSM&D, and UMS.
*Big-name artist to start each season
*Musicians play together on a consistent basis.
*Musicians make playing with the A2SO a priority.
*A2SO will continue to be sensitive to scheduling conflicts to allow flexibility to play with other orchestras.
*Musicians will play a diverse repertoire including established and less familiar pieces across the centuries which grow their repertoire and professional experience.
*A2SO will seek creative collaborations with other arts and cultural organizations in the area including the UMSM&D, and UMS.
*A2SO will hire big-name artist to start each season - a rising star locally as well as nationally
*A2SO will Commission original scores from up and coming and established composers on a regular basis
*All rehearsals will take place at the performance venue.
*Repeat performances for all mainstage concerts.
*Perform at least once each year in Hill Auditorium.
*Perform at least one repeat performance each year.

Community Presence
*A2SO provides repeat performances in surrounding counties.
*A2SO provides side-by-side concert experiences for area orchestra students.
*A2SO provides concerts to our older community members at long-term care facilities and other locations easily accessible by the elderly.
*Education programs serve 100% of the Ann Arbor Public Schools by 2023.
*Education programs serve 100% of the Ypsilanti Public Schools by 2023.

Financial Stability
*Eliminate over-dependence on special event fund raising by growing earned income.
*Fundraising as an organizational priority
*Fully sponsor each chair in the orchestra by 2019.
*Build general endowment to $10M by 2028.
*Build the Podium Endowment to $3M by 2023
*Fully endow each chair in the orchestra by 2028.
*Cultivate planned gifts.
*Grow the endowment by 10% annually

Our ability to continuously retain and attract audience members and patrons over our 90-year history speaks not only to the quality of our programs but to our organization’s management. We are proud to employ a professional staff whose experience in cultural arts presentation and music education is second-to-none. It is a hands-on, experienced and stable administrative staff whose six members have a combined 101 years of working in the orchestra business.
We have an elegant and expressive conductor who has been with the Symphony for 18 years and for whom education and outreach are keys to his musical vision. Our musicians are of the highest quality, and have recently signed a five year contract with the Orchestra.
We have a new marketing director, and a dedicated development director. We have a strong Board whose members reflect diversity in race, age, and sexual identity.
The A2SO has been financially stable since 1995, operating with a balanced budget, sufficient cash reserves and no debt. We are developing tools to grow our endowment,
The A2SO is the largest arts employer in Washtenaw County, contributing to the economy through its employment of musicians, technical staff, and administrative staff. This year we supported 1,110 Michigan artists

The Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra has been part of Ann Arbor’s cultural life for 90 years. This is a significant accomplishment for any non-profit, let alone a symphony orchestra. Fully professional since 1986, the orchestra has been under the direction of Maestro Arie Lipsky since 2000. Maestro Lipsky has expanded our educational offerings, increased the skill level of our players, and brought varied and exciting programming to our expanding audiences. Our season opening concerts feature world class performers such as Garrick Ohlssen and Andre Watts. Our mainstage concerts are currently broadcast on two local FM radio stations, and beginning in January 2019 will be broadcast throughout the entire lower peninsula of Michigan. Our education and outreach programs reach all segments of the population from toddlers to senior citizens.

2028 is the 100th anniversary of the A2SO: plans to celebrate include:
Commission major new work
Recording of A2SO on CD or its equivalent
Commission new children’s program or concert
Celebration to honor the podium being endowed
Celebration to honor each chair being endowed

Other goals for the future include:
* Fully sponsor each chair in the orchestra by 2019.
* Build general endowment to $10M by 2028.
* Build the Podium Endowment to $3M by 2023
* Fully endow each chair in the orchestra by 2028.
* Cultivate planned gifts.
* Grow the endowment by 10% annually.

Financials

ANN ARBOR SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA INC
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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ANN ARBOR SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA INC

Board of directors
as of 6/10/2020
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr. Geoffrey Barnes

UM Michigan Medicine

Geoffrey Barnes

UM Michigan Medicine

Carol Sewell

Arbor Trust

William Maxbauer

VP, Chase

Martha Darling

Educ. Policy Consultant

Lesa Huget

Writer

Joan Singer

AAPS Enrich. Retired

Roderick Little

UM Biostatistics

Sarah Bishara

Attorney, Honigman

Renee Birnbaum

Attorney, Retired

Constance Bridges

UM Health Center

David Gier

XO, UM School of Music

James Froelich

UM Vascular Medicine

Sylvia Funk

NIH Visa Spec., Ret.

J. Gates

VP, Domino's Ret.

Julie Gates

VP, Domino's, Ret.

Steven Gerber

Engineer, Teacher, Ret.

J. Henkel

Counselor, AAPS, Ret.

David Herzig

Parke Davis, Ret.

Ann Hollenbeck

Attorney, Jones Day

Paloma Jalife

Former Asst. Dean, SUNY

Henry Johnson

UM, VP St. Affairs, Ret.

Kristine Kerns

Sr. VP, Comerica

Arie Lipsky

Music Director

Brigitte Maassen

UM Int'l Center, Ret.

Timothy Michling

Principle Oboe

Tejal Patel

Skyline HS Student

Steven Pierce

Financial Planner

Dave Robertson

CPS, Rehmann

Jane Wilkinson

Musician, Commun.Vol.

Remy Young

Pfizer Chemist, Ret.

Jane Panikkar

MOT Conductor

Elizabeth Vanderpool

Dir.Comm Health, St. Joseph's

Mary Blaske

Exec. Dir. A2SO

Darcel Tolle

Huron Bank (Retired)

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? No
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? No
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? No
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No