Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)


School of Music


Foster Beyers

Katherine Axtell

Stephen P. Bolstad


The purpose of this study is to identify the most current and successful advances in audience engagement that champion connection and result in sustainability through purposeful educational experiences.

The Symphony Orchestra currently serves an audience which represents a multiplicity of perspectives, background, and understanding. In an era of expanded canon and outreach to local communities, the orchestra must acknowledge that change is necessary if we are to truly create fulfilling experiences for our listeners. Unfortunately, many orchestras fail to connect their outreach to the concert hall, woefully categorizing their patrons into pre-determined subsets. What if all patrons were trusted with the ability to appreciate and understand all genres of music?

This study aims to research current successful practices in connection between audience and performer, to focus on three orchestras who are actively changing their approach and achieving success, to bridge this knowledge to an academic setting, and to identify issues and suggest possible future endeavors that result in sustainability.



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