The mission of the New Haven Symphony Orchestra is to increase the impact and value of orchestral music for our audiences through high quality, affordable performances and educational programming. Our musicians inspire, delight, challenge, and unite larger and more diverse communities.
Artistically excellent concerts featuring a broad range of repertoire are a hallmark of the NHSO. We serve communities throughout the state of Connecticut- from New Canaan to Pomfret and from New Milford to Stonington as well as urban communities in Hartford, New Haven and New London. Our education programs, whether for children or adults, enhance the listening experience and deepen audiences appreciation for music. As a leader in Connecticut’s cultural life, the NHSO works in partnership with 42 school districts and various community organizations.
Formed in 1894 by local music merchant Morris Steinert, NHSO is the fourth-oldest, continuously operating symphony orchestra in America. Horatio William Parker, newly arrived at Yale, was recruited to conduct, and he gradually transformed this local band into an accomplished symphony. The repertoire was exclusively classical until the 1930s, but Harry Berman introduced programs of light classics that continue in popularity today. He also established Children’s Concerts in 1933.
Over the years, NHSO has continued these traditions of performance and education in New Haven. It has performed most of that time in Yale's historic Woolsey Hall and has also toured throughout Connecticut and beyond (including Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall). NHSO has given numerous radio broadcasts and made the world-premiere recording of the complete five-movement version of Mahler's first symphony.
In May 2010, the Orchestra released its first commercial CD in over thirty years featuring William Walton’s Symphony No.1 and Violin Concerto. It has garnered international critical acclaim and has sold copies on six continents. A second recording project commenced in February 2013 with a concert and recording that took place on November 7, 2014. A recording celebrating the 50th birthday of August Read Thomas took place on February 28, 2014, with support from the National Endowment for the Arts. The world premiere performance of her Hemke Concerto: Prisms of Light was featured alongside other orchestral works and performances by the Elm City Girls' Choir.
Accomplishments during the 2015-16 season include: 1) NHSO continued to develop its audience growth and diversity through programming and special marketing efforts, including "The Music of John Williams," "Beers and Beethoven," a happy hour event with CT Young Professionals and Future Leaders of Yale, and free Family Concert programming. These initiatives brought thousands of new audience members to NHSO performances. 2) NHSO premiered two movements of the Lash/Voynich Project, a two-year commission with composer-in-residence Hannah Lash. Lash also worked throughout the year with students in the Young Composer's Project.
3) NHSO performed "Young People's Concerts" with artist-in-residence, Hip-Hop violinist Daniel Bernard Roumain for thousands of students from 42 school districts across CT.
1) To provide access to music education for children in under-served communities
2) To present programming at the highest levels of performance to best showcase the art form
In order to support our growth and strategy, the New Haven Symphony has the following needs:
This year has presented both successes and challenges for the NHSO. We've continued to foster our strong partnerships across the state and have worked diligently to build new relationships in new areas of Connecticut to further grow our presence. In addition to identifying new startegic partnerships, we also are working to identify new funding opportunities, including individual donors, foundations, and sponsors.
With a strategic focus on music education, our Board works hard to support programs designed for in-school presentation. This includes the NHSO's strong history of artist residents, most recently with local composer and Yale faculty member Hannah Lash. These workshops, masterclasses, and residencies are geared toward music students and teachers at intermediate and high schools. The NHSO boasts its Young Composers Project, one of three in the United States, which brings student composers together with seasoned professionals to hone their skills. Hannah Lash leads the program and the experience culminates with recorded performances of student works by NHSO musicians.
We're proud to offer several programs that welcome the entire family to discover live music together at venues around Connecticut. This season, we have presented the Family Concert Series in New Haven and Shelton free of charge. Creating Musical Readers brings NHSO musicians to communities throughout the Greater New Haven area. We also offer School Night at the Symphony, Showcases of Young Artists at our concerts, and Young People’s Concerts for 10,000 students in Milford, New Haven, New London, Seymour, and Woodstock.Our 2015-2016 season has been one to remember as we celebrate the power of music and look forward to the 2016 - 2017 season. Our board members remain steadfast in our commitment to providing excellent programming for the community and continuing music education for listeners of every age, ethnicity, and experience level.
The NHSO Classics Series has brought top-quality, professional performances of classical music to concert halls for 123 years. This season, the NHSO will perform a total of eight concerts: seven at Yale’s Woolsey Hall in New Haven and one at Trinity Lutheran Church in New Haven. The 2016-2017 season features works by Shostakovich, Mendelssohn, Schubert, Brahms, Mozart, Martin Bresnick, Dvorak, Hannah Lash, Handel, Sibelius, Verdi, Haydn, and more. A number of these stirring concerts will receive repeat performances in Middletown, Madison, Clinton, and Fairfield.
During the 2015 - 2016 season, the NHSO continued to expand its concert series by “running out” our Classics Series concerts to towns around the state. Special events with the NHSO take place in Wilton, Worchester (MA), Essex, Fairfield, Madison, and Middletown.
Our Mission is to increase
the impact and value of orchestral music for our audiences through high
quality, affordable performances and educational programming. Our musicians inspire, delight, challenge, and unite larger and more diverse
The long-term goal of the NHSO Classics Series is to provide opportunities for audiences throughout Connecticut to celebrate our classical music heritage, enriched through new American compositions, by expanding opportunities for symphonic performances and music education.
We will pursue this goal through:
1. Live concert performances by the professional symphony and guest artists;
2. Promotion of new works by American composers-in-residence and composers well-versed in Asian, African and Latin traditions, including performances of their works;
The NHSO Pops Concerts are performed in Shelton and Hamden. The Pops are dramatic and fun concerts featuring light classics, Broadway musicals, holiday favorites and more. The afternoon performance offerings are of special interest to senior citizens and to parents who attend the performances with their children.
The NHSO Pops series has expanded in recent years to include three performances in Hamden. This is in addition to the Orchestra's long-held tradition of performing these concerts in Shelton. Due to Symphony's success in Shelton, 2016-2017 performances will be held at Shelton High School, allowing the NHSO to reach a larger audience.
The NHSO's live Pops performances of American music and light classics exceed expectations, unite communities, delight, challenge, and inspire.
The long term goal of the NHSO is to celebrate our Pops music heritage, enriched through American compositions, by expanding opportunities for symphonic performances and music education. We will celebrate this Vision through:
1. Live performances centered on pops music, supplemented by chamber and ensemble performances by orchestra members and guest artists;
2. Performances for children and families that introduce the Pops music heritage and the major forms of its presentation; and
The success of the program is measured both quantitatively and subjectively. The NHSO box office tracks success in reaching listeners through tickets sales software and analysis of audience behavior. Audience surveys are utilized to assess listener satisfaction and to solicit input for future improvements. The response of professional reviewers is collected from the local media. Members of the audience submit (unsolicited) feedback on how the Orchestra has affected them. Members of the Board of Directors are identified to the audience with name tags and they solicit informal feedback from patrons.
In past years, the work of the NHSO has been centered in New Haven. The Symphony's focus on regionalization has led to a rapid expansion of programs, especially in Hamden and Shelton. In 2015-2016, both towns hosted four Pops performances. NHSO education programs supplement this performance schedule in the high schools and middle schools. This expansion provides increased performances opportunities for our musicians and provides more professional Pops concerts in more towns in Connecticut.
The NHSO Family Concert Series offers children and their families a lively introduction to the orchestra and its music through child-friendly performances of familiar repertoire. Musicians from the orchestra and guest performers bring music to life for young audiences in one-hour programs that include narration and visuals along with the music. A special focus on literacy has led to a partnership with New Haven Reads. A popular children’s book is integrated into each Family Series program.
With themes updated each season, this season will take listeners around the world to hear music and stories from across the globe. A narrator will lead the program and each concert will feature an instrument family of the orchestra. This year's concerts are Tikki Tikki Tembo, Anansi the Spider, and The Three Little Pigs.
The New Haven Symphony Orchestra’s live performances of family concerts exceed expectations, unite communities, delight, challenge, and inspire.
1. Live performances centered on symphony and pops concerts, supplemented by chamber and ensemble performances by orchestra members and guest artists;
3. Support of youth and community orchestras and classical music education;
4. Performances for children and families that introduce the classical music heritage and the major forms of its presentation; and
5. Social networks and other media that enhance accessibility to classical music and its interpretation.
Audience surveys are collected after each concert and also at the end of the season. The NHSO is able to monitor results and attendance throughout the season and then analyze all of the information once the series closes. The NHSO can then begin making any necessary changes to the series during the planning phase for the next season's series. Because of the Family Concert Series' seasonal and evolving nature, the NHSO is able to glean insights from the past season, implement changes into the following season series, and test new ideas quite quickly. This allows the season to grow and develop to fit the needs of the communities, schools, and families.
In past years the work of the NHSO has been centered in New Haven. Our focus on regionalization has led to an expansion of programs, especially in Shelton.
Education and Community Engagement Initiatives reach 30,000 students in 42 Connecticut towns. The programs includes orchestra concerts, workshops with professional musicians, and partnerships with arts institutions.
Outreach extends to programs celebrating New Haven's diverse community. In 2016, the NHSO hosted a composer residency with composer and Yale School of Music Composition Faculty Member Hannah Lash, and the NHSO brought back Haitian-American hip hop violinist, Daniel Bernard Roumain for an educational artist residency.
Prior to each Classics Series performance, a Student Showcase features student ensembles from local schools.
The long term goal of the New Haven Symphony Orchestra is to celebrate our classical music heritage, enriched through new American compositions, by expanding opportunities for symphonic performances and music education. We will celebrate this Vision through:
1. Live performances centered on symphony and pops concerts and supported by education activities;
The success of the program is measured both quantitatively and subjectively. The NHSO education directors tracks the number of students participating each year and analyzes audience behavior. Surveys of both teachers and students are utilized to assess listener satisfaction and to solicit input for future improvements. Students write essays about their NHSO experience and send letters to Music Director William Boughton.
The NHSO Comprehensive Education Program has seen dramatic success in reaching young audiences throughout Connecticut. The Symphony presents programs in 7 of 8 counties in Connecticut. As the NHSO expands its concert offerings around the state, NHSO education programs are expanded to supplement the performance schedule. This extensive activity provides increased performances opportunities for NHSO musicians and provides access to professional teaching artists to more towns in Connecticut.
Special concerts of note during the 2016-17 season include: a summer concert on the New Haven green in partnership with the International Festival of Arts and Ideas and a benefit pre-concert dinner and concert for the Community Soup Kitchen.
NHSO broadcasts and records its concerts. The second William Walton disc was released in 2014 to international acclaim. A project recording the music of Augusta Read Thomas was also released in 2014.
The NHSO gives back to the New Haven community by assisting area not-for-profits in presenting simple and affordable fundraisers. In December 2015, the NHSO partnered with Anna Liffey's to host a benefit dinner for the Community Soup Kitchen in conjunction with its holiday concert. This was the fifth season in which the NHSO helped to raise funds for this vital community resource.
The Vision of the New Haven Symphony Orchestra is to celebrate our classical music heritage, enriched through new American compositions, by expanding opportunities for symphonic performances and music education. We will celebrate this Vision through:
1. Collaborations that result in live performances of symphony and pops music enhanced by other art forms or experiences outside of the concert hall;
3. Social networks and other media that enhance accessibility to classical music and its interpretation.
The success of each program is measured both quantitatively and subjectively. The NHSO box office or Education department tracks success in reaching listeners through tickets sales software, crowd counting and analysis of audience behavior. Audience surveys are utilized to assess listener satisfaction and to solicit input for future improvements. The response of professional reviewers is collected from the local media. Members of the audience submit (unsolicited) feedback on how the Orchestra has affected them. Members of the Board of Directors are identified to the audience with name tags and they solicit informal feedback from our patrons.
The Second Symphony is a wonderfully crafted work in which Waltonian electricity is not of such a high voltage as in the First. Nonetheless, William Boughton draws from the New Haven orchestra a comparably magnetic performance. The jazzy syncopations so typical of Walton need to have a degree of freedom, which is just what an English conductor and an American orchestra achieve."
As the New Haven Symphony Orchestra expands to provide performances regionally, we are seeking community partnerships and funders in Fairfield, Hartford, New London, and New Haven counties.
Overall artistic direction is provided by Music Director William Boughton. He joined us in 2007 after leading the English Symphony Orchestra for more than 25 years. Mr. Boughton brings with him a reputation as one of the foremost English conductors of his generation. In 1980, he founded the English Symphony Orchestra, and as its Artistic and Music Director and Principal Conductor, he developed the orchestra’s repertoire with music ranging from baroque and classical works to contemporary music. To celebrate its silver anniversary, Mr. Boughton led the ESO in a season-long cycle of the nine Beethoven Symphonies. He has made more than 60 highly regarded recordings, most for Nimbus Records, several of which have reached the top ten in the U.S. charts. Mr. Boughton has guest-conducted the world’s leading orchestras from San Francisco to Helsinki and has worked with leading soloists on the international circuit, including such artists as Nigel Kennedy, Emmanuel Ax, and Radu Lupu.
From 1986—93, he served as Artistic and Music Director of the Jyvaskyla Sinfonia in Finland. During his tenure, audiences grew by over 60 percent. He led the orchestra on tour to Estonia and Sweden and recorded music by Sibelius. Mr. Boughton has been instrumental in founding and directing the Malvern Festival held in the autumn in Worcestershire as well as the Wyastone Summer Series, which has become one of the U.K.’s most significant annual music events, broadcast in part by the BBC. In 2004, he launched the first Elgar Festival in Malvern, whose sold-out performances were received with enormous enthusiasm. His first Stateside Elgar-Festival took place at Yale University in April/May, 2013.
As a champion of contemporary British music, Mr. Boughton commissioned works from composers including Peter Sculthorpe, John Joubert, and Anthony Powers. In his tenure with the NHSO, he has presented world premieres by Jin Hi Kim, David Stock, Augusta Read Thomas, Christopher Theofanidis, and Chris Brubeck. He is currently spearheading a commission for a new work by Yale’s Hannah Lash. Maestro Boughton was chosen to conduct commemorative celebrations of composers Sir Michael Tippett and Nicholas Maw. His close friendship with the late Yehudi Menuhin led to his leading the ESO at Menuhin’s Memorial Service in Westminster Abbey. In 1993, Mr. Boughton was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Coventry University.
The NHSO Board of Directors named Elaine C. Carroll Executive Director effective December 1, 2011. Ms. Carroll has more than 20 years of management experience and a proven track record of increasing revenues and balancing budgets. She has secured grants from many major foundations and the Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism, the New York State Council on the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the U.S. Department of Education. She was previously the General Manager of the Stamford Symphony and Executive Director of the Westchester Philharmonic. (Her complete bio is listed among our senior staff.)
Elaine C. Carroll has worked in not-for-profit management more than 20 years. She brings to her role as Executive Director a proven track record of increasing revenues. She has secured grants from many major foundations and the Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism, the New York State Council on the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the U.S. Department of Education.
Previously, Elaine served as the General Manager of the Stamford Symphony. Some of her successful fundraising projects include a Fairfield County Community Fund sponsored effort to upgrade technology and increase efficiency at the Symphony. She worked with the local congressman’s office to develop an education proposal that culminated in a $95,000 stimulus grant this past season. Elaine was a researcher and reporter for the statewide Values Study and she implemented one of five follow-up Innovation Grant programs statewide. In addition, her innovative marketing plan increased the Symphony’s public presence without increasing marketing expenses. In order to make strides in improving the Symphony’s use of new media to recruit a diverse audience, Elaine recruited information and innovation officers from local Fortune 500 companies to the Marketing Committee of the Board of Directors.
Elaine was previously the Executive Director of the Westchester Philharmonic where her fundraising led to a decrease in the annual deficit by 96% in her first season. She launched a successful opening night gala and increased both fundraising event income and total government support of the Philharmonic. She implemented a major program for high-risk children funded by the U.S. Department of Education.
Prior to her service in Westchester, Elaine served as Festival and Business Manager of the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival/Yale Summer School of Music. Elaine led an extensive expansion of Norfolk’s outreach and education programs and significantly increased individual giving.
Before arriving in Norfolk, Elaine served as Director of Development for Friends of the Arts, presenters of classical, jazz and popular concerts as well as arts-in-education throughout Long Island, NY. Elaine was also Administrative Director of the Riverside Symphony in New York City, an orchestra dedicated to new and unusual music and emerging American soloists.
Elaine has served as a panelist for the Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism and the Westchester Arts Council. She is a founding member of Connecticut’s Shamrock Traditional Irish Music Society. She earned her Masters of Performing Arts Administration from New York University and holds a B.A. in flute performance from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
The NHSO has taken a pro-active and flexible approach to providing quality programming in a difficult economic climate. Our stated goal is to invest in programs onstage and in schools, and over 75% of our budget is expended in program services.
Our administrative structure was realigned to support this goal, and the NHSO is one beneficiary of a landmark gift from the Estate of Richard English. Interest from this donor-directed fund is already benefiting the NHSO, and when fully capitalized, the earned income from the Trust will underwrite 20% of the NHSO’s projected $2 million budget.
All box office functions are in-house, allowing for superior customer service and 24 hour ticketing capacity. This change generates earned income in the form of service fees charged on a per transaction basis.
The NHSO follows a regionalization strategy that “runs out” our concerts for additional performance opportunities. Woolsey Hall concerts will be repeated in Clinton, Middletown, Madison, and Fairfield over the course of this season. In addition to reaching new audiences, these performances allow us to expand our sponsorship and donor bases, and thus create additional income.
Our Pops series is performed in Shelton and Hamden, with audiences growing steadily. Focusing on these venues allows us to offer additional work to our musicians while building new audiences, attracting new sponsors, and taking advantage of significantly reduced operations costs. The NHSO was pleased to announce this season that Shelton concerts will be moved to Shelton High School to increase capacity to grow audiences in the Valley.
In addition, we continued to develop audiences on the Shoreline through performances of special holiday programming.
Indirect Public Support HelpIndirect public support represents revenue received through solicitation campaigns. This includes funding United Way and other federated fundraising organizations, but does not include donor designated contributions.
Earned Revenue HelpEarned revenue represents income generated in direct exchange for a product or service.Earned income includes income from government contracts.
As our administrative structure was realigned to support this goal, the NHSO learned it was one beneficiary of a landmark gift from the Estate of Richard English. Interest from this donor directed fund is already benefitting the NHSO and, when fully capitalized, the earned income from the Trust will underwrite 20% of the NHSO’s projected $2 million budget.
All box office functions were brought in-house, allowing for superior customer service and 24 hour ticketing capacity.
The NHSO musicians voted to support a regionalization strategy that “runs out” our fourth rehearsal for each Symphony Series concert as an additional performance opportunity. In addition to reaching new audiences, these performances allow us to expand our sponsorship and donor bases, and thus create additional income.
Our Pops series is performing to sold-out audiences in Shelton and Hamden audiences. Focusing in these venues allows us to offer additional work to our musicians while building new audiences, attracting new sponsors, and taking advantage of significantly reduced operations costs. Due to the sustained levels of attendance in Shelton, the NHSO was pleased to announce its move to Shelton High School for the 2016-2017 season. This will give the NHSO additional capacity to grow its audience base in the Valley.
The NHSO has earned significant international recognition by releasing our Nimbus CD and earning several nationally competitive awards including the ASCAP Award for Adventuresome Programming, Meet the Composer and National Endowment for the Arts grants. These awards shine a light on the cultural achievements of the New Haven region and celebrate the New Haven Symphony Orchestra’s achievements. The financial changes implemented in the past two season guarantee the NHSO’s financial stability and success for the long-term.
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