Sarasota Orchestra
709 N Tamiami Trl
Sarasota FL 34236-4047
We engage, educate and enrich our community through high-quality, live musical experiences.
CEO/Executive Director Joseph McKenna
Board Chair Anne Folsom Smith
Board Chair Affiliation Anne Folsom Smith Interior Design
General Info
Organization DBA
Sarasota Orchestra
Florida West Coast Symphony, Inc.
Supported Organization Sarasota Orchestra Friends, Debutante Committee
Former Names
Florida West Coast Symphony, Inc.
Tax Exempt Status Public Supported Charity
Incorporation Year 1986
Awarded competitive grant from Community Foundation in the last 5 years?
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Yes Jan 2017
State Registration Yes 0
IRS Letter of Determination
Financial Summary
Projected Revenue $8,526,889.00
Projected Expenses $8,580,227.00
Other Documents
Impact Statement
Needs Statement
1. The Artistic/Production department seeks assistance with the rental and purchase of music scores for the 2015-16 season of performances. ($75,000)
2. The Marketing department would like to ‘wrap’ our (currently blank, white) panel truck to reflect our organization’s brand refresh and enhance our visual presence in the area. ($5,000)
3. Initial funding is needed for the Sarasota Orchestra's Archival project - to hire a consultant to advise on the scope of the project and assist in applying for additional grant funds, as well as to secure a space for the actual archival work to take place. ($1,000 - $40,000)
4. The Orchestra needs to secure additional funding for the remaining costs of the Tessitura software installation and training already in progress. ($35,000)
Background Statement

Founded in 1949, Florida West Coast Symphony, dba Sarasota Orchestra, is the oldest continuing orchestra in Florida and one of the first regional arts organizations to pioneer hands-on music education programs in partnership with area school systems. What started as a small resident orchestra of amateur musicians more than sixty-five years ago is now a highly regarded professional orchestra of eighty musicians under the direction of Anu Tali. Today we entertain, engage and educate over 100,000 Florida residents and visitors each year.

Areas Served
Areas Served
FL- Sarasota
FL- Charlotte
FL- Manatee
Service Categories
Primary Org Type Arts,Culture & Humanities
Secondary Org Type Education
Tertiary Org Type
Sarasota Orchestra, Florida West Coast Symphony, Masterworks, Sarasota Music Festival
Statement from the Board Chair/Board President
Statement from the CEO/Executive Director

The Sarasota Orchestra concert season includes orchestra concerts, chamber orchestra events and chamber ensemble performances. Our programming specifically aims to attract new audiences with innovative programs, foster cultural tourism and strengthen the region’s cultural arts by presenting an array of traditional classics, light classics, pop programs and chamber music. The Sarasota Orchestra presents over 125 performances annually, which feature renowned guest artists from around the world.

Budget $6,130,101
Category Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Musical Performances
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served General/Unspecified General/Unspecified General/Unspecified
Short Term Success

The main highlight of the 2013-14 season would be the completion of Anu Tali's first year in her position as only the fifth Music Director in our 65 year history.

Our Pops series continued with sold-out performances, exceeding the ticket sales budget by 8%. A new offering, the Outdoor Pops concert in May, also performed much better than anticipated, exceeding sales forecasts by 50%. In all, 39 concerts sold out in 2013-14.
Our Sarasota Youth Orchestra enrollment continues to increase, with 306 students participating in 2014-15. The Summer Music Camp also demonstrates outstanding participation, up 70% since 2009.
Shortly after presenting the 49th installment of the Sarasota Music Festival, the Beatrice Friedman Symphony Center completed a $1M rehabilitation project to better serve the region.
Long Term Success

The Sarasota Orchestra was founded in 1949 by a group of dedicated Florida music lovers from Sarasota, Bradenton and Venice, who were committed to building a resident orchestra in their community. Today, it is the oldest continuing orchestra in the State of Florida and a cornerstone of the cultural life of Sarasota, Manatee and Charlotte Counties. The Sarasota Orchestra is recognized for its unique, multi-faceted profile, which combines a dual commitment to performance and education, while promoting the highest standards of excellence in orchestral and chamber music. In a visionary effort to claim its future, the Orchestra stepped out by re-launching its brand in 2008 to meet changes brought on by dramatic shifts in demographic trends, the influence of technology in the lives of patrons, and the re-defined economic landscape.

Program Success Monitoring

The success of our programming is evaluated for its artistic quality, audience growth and our overall inclusiveness. Evaluation of our artistic offerings is done by our Artistic Staff. Documenting audience reaction and analyzing music reviews are part of the evaluation. To evaluate the quality of concert programming, our marketing staff regularly analyzes press reviews and articles and distributes audience surveys to attendees of select season concerts. Focus groups are often utilized to garner feedback about various programs and to inform decisions before new programs are implemented.

Program Success Examples

More than anything, success is first measured by its artistic quality and impact with audiences.The variety of programming over the major series (Masterworks, Pops, Great Escapes and Chamber Music) has proved to attract diverse audiences. Collaboration with a wide array of community organizations has also been part of the organization's winning formula. Recent and ongoing collaborations include projects with Sarasota Opera, Sarasota Ballet, Gloria Musicae, Jewish Family Children Services and New College Music Department.


The Sarasota Youth Orchestras are comprised of seven youth orchestras, from beginning strings to the advanced Youth Philharmonic. Some 306 students currently participate in the Youth Orchestra program.

For three weeks each July, nearly 300 area students participate in the Summer Music Camp. The camp meets every day and concludes with a recital for parents and the community.
The annual Young Person’s Concerts engage 10,000 fourth and fifth grade students from schools in the tri-county area in a flexible, twenty-six week, in-school preparation/study session, including a concert by the Sarasota Orchestra held at a professional performance venue.
Other outreach includes Orchestra musicians performing and coaching in area schools and community venues. The total number of children and family members served by the Sarasota Orchestra educational outreach each year is more than 10,000.
Budget $432,575
Category Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Music Instruction
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served K-12 (5-19 years) K-12 (5-19 years) K-12 (5-19 years)
Short Term Success

Participation in the Sarasota Orchestra's educational programming has been increasing over the last several years. Since 2009, Sarasota Youth Orchestras enrollment has increased by 50 percent. Summer Music Camp enrollment has increased by 70 percent during the same period. In 2013-14, through the generosity of donors, we were able to award over $86,000 in tuition and admission waivers to 345 students. During that same time period, nearly 60 Sarasota Youth Orchestras students received $19,169 in private lesson scholarships, and an additional $15,300 was given to enable students to attend summer camps and universities to further their studies in music. In addition to reaching more students, the quality of the educational experience has risen considerably due in large part to the distinguished faculty from the greater central Florida region.

Long Term Success

For more than 50 years, our education programs have nurtured thousands of talented young music students, many who have gone on to careers in music as performers, teachers, and composers. Past alumni are members of the Sarasota Orchestra and other major symphony orchestras nationwide. All participants in our programs have gained a much deeper understanding and appreciation of classical and chamber music which shapes them for a lifetime, both in their support of the performing arts and in developing an understanding and appreciation of music in their own children.

Program Success Monitoring

Our educational programming effectiveness is evaluated by: the return rate of students; the improvement in playing ability of Youth Orchestra students over the course of the season and from one year to the next; the number of students recruited into the program; and input from music coaches, teachers and parents.

Program Success Examples

The Sarasota Youth Orchestras enrollment for the 2013-14 season increased 20%; 2014 Summer Music Camp enrolled 179 students . Recently, we have been most fortunate to recruit the finest instructors to enhance the experience for our area youth. Noted Florida educator Rob Lambert from the Harrison School for the Arts is a member of our faculty. As part of our collaboration with the Manatee and Sarasota School Districts, we have successfully secured the string orchestra teachers (David Pope, Celia Sperotta and Emily Suydam) at each county’s arts magnet middle school. This has proved vital to strengthening our program and contributing to our success. Susan Hines, Daniel Boyd and Christopher Allen, all highly regarded educators in the state of Florida, round out our superior team of educators. 


The Sarasota Music Festival is one of the premier chamber music festivals in the United States. (We celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2014) For three weeks each June, we transform Sarasota County into a springboard for the training and promotion of outstanding college-aged musicians, while providing a performance platform for some of the world’s most distinguished chamber musicians and faculty. This three-week residency program selects approximately 60 students each year from more than 400 applications, representing the world’s top colleges and music conservatories. Students receive individual and ensemble training, coaching and mentoring from a faculty roster of exceptional, world-famous professors, scholars and musicians. With a dual focus on education and performance, the Festival offers an intense daily schedule of chamber music, master classes, coaching sessions, public lectures, demonstrations, open rehearsals and concert performances.

Budget $434,179
Category Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Music Festivals
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served General/Unspecified General/Unspecified General/Unspecified
Short Term Success

During the last few Sarasota Music Festivals, our student musicians have increasingly become a more prominent feature of the Festival.  Artistic Director and widely noted Mozart scholar, Robert Levin, has introduced new faculty as part of the Festival’s re-launch, including these past students of the Festival: Christina Jennings, Noah Bendix-Balgley, Cristina Valdes and Eric Stomberg.

Long Term Success

The Sarasota Music Festival, founded by Paul Wolfe, began in 1965 as a one week event with seven guest artists. Within two years, the Festival grew to three weeks and succeeded in attracting national attention. By 1985, the Sarasota Music Festival came under the auspices of the Sarasota Orchestra. Today, the Festival is led by Robert Levin, a distinguished musician, renowned Mozart scholar and former Harvard faculty member. More than 40 faculty and 60 students converge on Sarasota from around the globe for this premier, three week Festival of international acclaim. As a result of its long and distinguished record, the Sarasota Music Festival has garnered the noteworthy claim by the State of Florida as the State’s official teaching Festival.

Program Success Monitoring

The success of the Sarasota Music Festival is evaluated by: the growth of our audience; feedback from instructors and students; media reviews and articles; and surveys of audience members.

Program Success Examples

In 2010, some 342 young musicians applied to the 2010 Festival. That number grew to 394 in 2011 and 445 for the 2012 Festival. Ticket sales income has risen steadily as well: $89,970 in 2009 to $138,543 for 2013. Varied musical formats and more human-interest programming has contributed to the success of the Festival.

Past Sarasota Music Festival participants now hold positions with the following esteemed musical organizations: The Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Dallas Symphony, the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, among others.
Program Comments by Organization
Program Comments by Foundation
CEO/Executive Director
CEO/Executive Director Joseph McKenna
CEO Term Start 2001
CEO/Executive Director Email
Experience Joseph McKenna is an established leader and visionary administrator. During his 15 year tenure at the Orchestra, he has guided the organization through a period of unprecedented artistic growth which has seen the unionization of the Orchestra, a doubling in the size of the Orchestra’s endowment corpus, the re-launch of the Orchestra’s brand, and most recently, completed the Orchestra’s first global search for a new Music Director. Prior to coming to Sarasota, Joe was Managing Director of the Cedarburg Performing Arts Center, Cedarburg, Wisconsin, where he supervised the final stages of construction and successfully opened greater Milwaukee’s newest multi-million dollar performing arts venue. Prior to heading up the Cedarburg Performing Arts Center, McKenna served as Executive Director of the Great Woods Educational Forum in Mansfield, Massachusetts, while concurrently serving as Music Director and Conductor of the Southeastern Massachusetts Wind Symphony and Conductor of the Wheaton College Chamber Orchestra. Promoted to Assistant Professor at Wheaton College in 1996, McKenna also volunteered as a music instructor for the SPES Program, an inner city youth program serving the Dorchester, Mattapan, and Roxbury neighborhoods of Boston. A graduate of the New England Conservatory of Music, McKenna holds degrees in Trombone Performance and Music Education with distinction.
Former CEOs/Executive Directors
Senior Staff
Gordon Greenfield Vice-President of Marketing, Sales and PR
Patricia Joslyn Vice-President of Operations and Artistic Planning
RoseAnne McCabe Vice-President of Education/Sarasota Music Festival Administrative Director
Anu Tali Music Director
Cathy Wilson Vice-President of Finance
Staff & Volunteer Statistics
Full Time Staff 86
Part Time Staff 91
Staff Retention Rate % 96
Professional Development Yes
Contractors 78
Volunteers 850
Management Reports to Board Yes
CEO/Executive Director Formal Evaluation Yes
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Non-Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Recent collaborations include: Sarasota Opera, Sarasota Ballet, the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, Jewish Family and Children's Services, Ringling Museum of Art, South Florida Museum, Mote Marine, Key Chorale and Gloria Musicae.
External Assessments and Accreditations
Awards & Recognition
Risk Management Provisions
Government Licenses
Organization Licensed by the Government No
Fundraising Plan No
Communication Plan No
Strategic Plan No
Strategic Plan Years
Strategic Plan Adopted 0
Management Succession Plan No
Policies and Procedures No
Continuity of Operations Plan No
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistle Blower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy Yes
Management Comments by Organization

Organization Policies and Procedures

The Sarasota Orchestra has three documents that address policies and procedures for the institution. They include the Board of Directors Handbook for management of Board matters, the Collective Bargaining Agreement with the American Federation of Musicians for administration of orchestra operations and the Personnel Handbook for management of staff policies and procedures. All three documents are in the process of being updated.
Strategic Plan
With the arrival of new Music Director, Anu Tali on August 1, 2013, the next stage of strategic planning commenced. The process is underway and will be furthered by a Board retreat in Spring, 2014. The goal for an updated and revised plan is early Fall 2014.
While the visioning and strategic planning work is in process, the organization is operating based on its current operating and program paradigm.
Management Comments by Foundation
Board Chair
Board Chair Anne Folsom Smith
Company Affiliation Anne Folsom Smith Interior Design
Board Term May 2012 to July 2018
Board Chair Email
Board Members
Board Members
Gerri Aaron Retired
Jack Buhsmer Tax Attorney
Jerry Elden Retired Executive
Michael Esposito Syncora Holdings, Inc.
Anne Folsom Smith Anne Folsom Smith Interior Design
Beatrice Friedman Philanthropist
Arnold Hoffman Retired
Tom Koski Retired
Jill Levine Community Volunteer
Billy Robinson Retired Sarasota City Clerk
Tom Ryan Retired
Tammie Sandoval BMO/Harris Bank
William Sedgeman Community Bank
Robin Serbin Serbin Printing
Susan Sofia Arts Advocate
David Steves Attorney
Lois Stulberg Retired
Charles Wood Investor
Student serving on the board through Community Youth Development? No
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 18
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 10
Female 8
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 3
Board Orientation Yes
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 7
Board Meeting Attendance % 80
Board Self-Evaluation Yes
Written Board Selection Criteria Yes
Written Conflict of Interest Policy Yes
% of Board Making Monetary Contributions 100
% of Board Making In-Kind Contributions 30
Constituency Includes Client Representation
Standing Committees
Governance Comments by Organization
Governance Comments by Foundation
Fiscal Year Projections
Fiscal Year Begins 2015
Fiscal Year Ends 2016
Projected Revenue $8,526,889.00
Projected Expenses $8,580,227.00
Endowment Value $24,871,813.00
Endowment Spending Policy Percentage
Endowment Spending Policy % 5
Capital Campaign
In a Capital Campaign No
Campaign Purpose
Campaign Goal
Campaign Dates 0 to 0
Amount Raised To Date 0 as of 0
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years?
IRS Form 990s
990 2014-20152015
Historical Financial Review
Revenue SourcesHelpThe financial analysis involves a comparison of the IRS Form 990 and the audit report (when available) and revenue sources may not sum to total based on reconciliation differences. Revenue from foundations and corporations may include individual contributions when not itemized separately.
Fiscal Year201520142013
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
Government Contributions$761,001$560,959$692,225
Individual Contributions$2,495,951$2,790,167$2,471,038
Investment Income, Net of Losses$113,085$112,876$166,786
Membership Dues$0$0$0
Special Events$472,271$577,387$411,811
Revenue In-Kind$10,750$10,332$283,053
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201520142013
Program Expense$7,150,896$6,597,355$5,995,034
Administration Expense$937,784$801,441$706,957
Fundraising Expense$548,903$645,481$477,038
Payments to Affiliates$0$0$0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses0.961.011.04
Program Expense/Total Expenses83%82%84%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue11%13%11%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201520142013
Total Assets$9,210,237$9,800,739$9,033,469
Current Assets$2,396,796$5,872,976$7,001,007
Long-Term Liabilities$212,225$320,443$0
Current Liabilities$1,873,090$1,937,469$1,624,876
Total Net Assets$7,124,922$7,542,827$7,408,593
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201520142013
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountContributions, gifts, grants $2,495,951Contributions, gifts, grants $2,790,167Contributions, gifts, grants $2,471,038
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountSymphony Concerts $2,423,500Symphony Concerts $2,210,570Symphony Concert $2,092,132
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountFoundation & Corporate Support $1,212,000Foundation & Corporate Support $1,095,574Related Organizations $907,000
CEO/Executive Director Compensation $150,001 - $175,000
Co-CEO/Executive Director Compensation
Tax Credits No
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201520142013
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities1.283.034.31
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201520142013
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets2%3%0%
Financials Comments
Financial Comments by Organization
Financial Comments by Foundation Financial figures taken from IRS Form 990.  990 and audit are reconciled.
Nonprofit Sarasota Orchestra
Address 709 N Tamiami Trl
Sarasota, FL 342364047
Primary Phone 941 953-4252