Cultural Realities and the Preservation of the Art of Live Symphonic Music

By: Katherine Michelle Mayer  

In the United States, arts organizations constantly struggle for both funding and cultural relevance. This struggle is particularly difficult for large organizations such as symphonic orchestras. The live symphonic orchestra is the only musical body that is able to recreate the large body of work created by symphonic composers, however, and without their existence these cultural treasures will be lost. This focused discussion explores perceptions and attitudes regarding symphonic music, current American audience and funding models, and opportunities for adapting and changing models in order to sustain this live art form in the twenty-first century. Discussion participants will be encouraged to share their own experiences, observations, and ideas for new models. Particular emphasis will be given to the use of digital technology, social media, and collaborative global opportunities for live symphonic orchestras and their potential audiences.

Public Arts, Community Arts, Arts Policy, Arts and Identities
The Arts in Social, Political, and Community Life
Focused Discussion

Katherine Michelle Mayer

Chair, Fine and Performing Arts, Northeast Lakeview College

I have a Bachelor's Degree in Vocal Performance and a Master's Degree in Choral Conducting, both from the University of Texas at San Antonio. I have been a musician for my entire life. I am a performer with the internationally acclaimed Early Music group SAVAE and have recorded many cds, charted in the top fifteen twice on Billboard magazine, and have been featured in soundtracks for a PBS documentary and a major motion picture directed by Ridley Scott. I served as the Education Director of the San Antonio Symphony for six years. I served as the head of the Music Department of Northeast Lakeview College for five years before becoming Chair of the Fine and Performing Arts Division at the same college, where I have served in that capacity since 2013. I hold numerous leadership positions both in my college district and at the state level in Texas.