WNY Chamber Orchestra member to attend seminar in Los Angeles

High honors

The Western New York Chamber Orchestra’s Vice President/Violinist Carl Lam is one of only 34 orchestra executives, administrators, musicians, students and career changers from across the country selected to participate in the League of American Orchestras’ Essentials of Orchestra Management program in Los Angeles, July 16-26. The 10-day immersive seminar, taking place on the campus of the University of Southern California (USC), develops the careers of orchestra managers, providing an in-depth overview of orchestra administration and offering participants the unique opportunity to learn from a faculty of orchestra executives, musicians, and leadership experts.

“These 34 talented professionals have diverse backgrounds and occupations, but all are keenly interested in the future of orchestras,” said Jesse Rosen, the League of American Orchestras’ president and CEO. “With a cutting-edge curriculum and a forward-thinking faculty from within and outside the orchestra field, this year’s seminar will help these participants achieve success in a complex and changing environment.”

“Not only has he graced us with his musicianship and artistry as a violinist within our orchestra, he also serves as the Vice President of our Board of Directors,” said Lisa Layman, the executive director of the Western New York Chamber Orchestra. “His musical education here at SUNY Fredonia certainly set in motion an already deeply held belief that access to a thriving culture of music in society is a moral imperative. He has an extraordinary educational and professional background, and this opportunity will further broaden an already wide reach within our orchestra and beyond.”

Since its inception in 2000, more than 400 men and women have participated in Essentials, including many who now hold prominent positions in orchestras.

The seminar, presented by the League of American Orchestras in association with the USC Arts Leadership Program, has been updated this year and is organized around five tracks:

¯ Artistic Vision and Execution

¯ Civic Engagement

¯ Organizational Dynamics

¯ Organizational Sustainability

¯ Personal Growth

Highlights of the seminar will include:

¯ A panel on musicians’ perspectives with the participation of International Conference of Symphony and Opera Musicians (ICSOM) Chair and Los Angeles Philharmonic Violist Meredith Snow

¯ An interview with conductor StÈphane Denve, Music Director Designate, St. Louis Symphony Orchestra

¯ Sessions on diversity in orchestras with Alexander Laing, Principal Clarinet, The Phoenix Symphony and on women in the field with Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Executive Director Jennifer Barlament

¯ Sessions on programming for the 21st century with San Francisco Symphony Director of Artistic Planning Matthew Spivey, on audience building with WoflBrown Principal Alan Brown, and on the future of orchestras with violist, ethnomusicologist, and entrepreneurial musician expert Tanya Kalmanovitch

¯ Two full days of immersive role-playing to learn skills such as effective negotiating and navigating the day-to-day challenges of an orchestra’s executive team

Topics covered in the curriculum include diversity, education and community engagement, artistic leadership, audience building, finance and sustainability, fundraising, operations, marketing and communications, advocacy, organizational culture, governance, and an introduction to effective negotiations and collective bargaining.

This year’s Essentials participants were selected in a competitive process based on management experience and potential, commitment to serving American orchestras, and motivation and goals for participating in this professional development seminar.

Essentials of Orchestra Management is made possible by a generous grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The Hearst Foundation, Inc., and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Violinist Carl Lam is a Western New York native who is thrilled to have the opportunity to perform in the city he calls home. He is currently a regular performer with the Western New York Chamber Orchestra, Clarence Summer Orchestra, and Southern Tier Symphony. He has also substituted with the Erie Philharmonic (Pa.) and was a contracted player of the now defunct Erie Chamber Orchestra from February 2016 to April 2018.

Aside from performing, he has taken interest in administrative aspects of orchestral operations. He currently works as General Manager of the UB Symphony Orchestra, Vice President of the Western New York Chamber Orchestra’s Board of Directors, and Contractor with Westminster Presbyterian Church.

His past administrative experiences include serving as Alumni Concert Coordinator at SUNY Fredonia in 2016, Co-Chair of the Cheektowaga Community Symphony Orchestra’s Conductor/Music Director Search Committee, and Head Librarian of Orchestras at SUNY Fredonia.

His other professional commitments include working as a fill-in weather anchor with WGRZ-TV’s Storm Team 2 and as a fill-in traffic reporter with the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority. Also, since 2013, he works part-time as an on-air host for WNED-FM, the classical music station serving Western New York and Southern Ontario.

As a higher education professional, he currently works at the University at Buffalo as an Academic Advisor in the Exploratory and Pre-Professional Advising Center. He also serves as an Adjunct Lecturer in the Department of Communication at his alma mater, Fredonia, and also as an Adjunct Instructor at Medaille College.

He earned a bachelor of arts in applied music and journalism along with a bachelor of science in audio/radio production from Fredonia in 2014. He earned a master of education in higher education administration and a master of music in music performance from the University at Buffalo in 2016 and 2018, respectively. Previous teachers include Greta Speller, David Colwell, Amy Glidden, Cyrus Beroukhim and Hanna Hurwitz.

Additionally, he is currently pursuing a broadcast meteorology certificate from Mississippi State University and has completed advanced coursework in communication from the University at Buffalo.

The League of American Orchestras leads, supports and champions America’s orchestras and the vitality of the music they perform. Its diverse membership of more than 2,000 organizations and individuals across North America runs the gamut from world-renowned orchestras to community groups, from summer festivals to student and youth ensembles, from conservatories to libraries, from businesses serving orchestras to individuals who love symphonic music. The only national organization dedicated solely to the orchestral experience, the League is a nexus of knowledge and innovation, advocacy, and leadership advancement. Its conferences and events, award-winning Symphony magazine, website, and other publications inform people around the world about orchestral activity and developments. Founded in 1942 and chartered by Congress in 1962, the League links a national network of thousands of instrumentalists, conductors, managers and administrators, board members, volunteers, and business partners. Visit americanorchestras.org.