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
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Yes Jan 2018
State Registration Yes 0
IRS Letter of Determination
Financial Summary
Projected Revenue $8,894,178.00
Projected Expenses $9,112,993.00
Impact Statement

Maestra Tali has set a compelling vision for the orchestra that focuses on several key goals. First is to program the Masterworks Series to build the sound and sonic personality of the orchestra. Second is to feature principal players as soloists and leaders in the Chamber Soiree programs. Third is to develop broader community engagement through innovative programming and community outreach. Finally, to foster artistic growth, the vision calls for new commissions and an aspiration for the orchestra to perform in a series of first class concert halls.

Needs Statement
1. The Artistic/Production department seeks assistance with the rental and purchase of music scores the season's performances. ($75,000)
2. The Education department needs to perform maintenance on student instruments as well as purchase instruments. ($25,000)
3. The Orchestra needs to replace our main copy machine which supports all departments of the Orchestra, including our Educational programs and Sarasota Music Festival. ($20,000)
4. The annual cost for a full-time musician in the Sarasota Orchestra including benefits. (starts at $44,000)
5. The purchase of a new Steinway concert grand piano for the Sarasota Orchestra. This piano will be placed in Holley Hall in the Beatrice Friedman Symphony Center and used for all activities including Sarasota Orchestra concerts and rehearsals, Sarasota Music Festival, Sarasota Youth Orchestra, and Young Artists Concerto Competition. ($165,300)
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
Statement from the Board Chair/Board President
We are on a wonderful journey as the Sarasota Orchestra celebrates its 68th season in 2016-2017 as the oldest continuing orchestra in the state of Florida.
Over the past five years our Youth Orchestra and Summer Music Camp have doubled in size and our world-renowned Sarasota Music Festival celebrated its 50th anniversary. Education is, and will continue to be, a significant part of our mission.
Great performances like those of Masterworks, Chamber Soirees, Great Escapes and Pops activated and elevated the other part of our mission which is to provide a diverse offering of live performances for the Sarasota-Manatee region.
We have learned from the last several years that our courage to adapt, change and innovate is what has made the Sarasota Orchestra the vibrant organization it is today.
On behalf of our organization, we invite you to see how the Sarasota Orchestra has set the stage for a new era of excitement for our region.
With warm regards,
Anne Folsom Smith, Board Chair
Joseph McKenna, President & CEO

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 $9,321,411
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 Orchestra continues to enjoy artistically strong programming and healthy sales. FY16 ticket sales increased 9% with an increase in attendance of 2% over the prior year. The Chamber music series was expanded from seven to eight programs contributing to a 10% increase in attendance. The Orchestra and Maestra Tali, in collaboration with Van Wezel Performing Arts Center, performed with Renee Fleming in January to a sold out audience. Due to continued at-capacity sales for Pops programs, the Orchestra began planning an expansion from six performances to nine performances in 2017 through the addition of a Saturday matinee. The continued popularity of the outdoor Pops in collaboration with the Baltimore Orioles and Ed Smith Stadium resulted in a sold out stadium weeks before the concert. This early sell-out prompted planning the addition of a second performance for 2017 to accommodate all who wish to attend this family friendly event. The Youth Orchestra and Summer Music Camp continue to provide music education programs at near capacity levels with a 3% and 15% increase in attendance over FY15, respectively.

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. A record 348 students currently participate in the Youth Orchestra program.

For three weeks each July, over 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 over 9,000 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 two professional performance venues.
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 $513,821
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

The 2016-2017 season marks the 58th anniversary of the Sarasota Youth Orchestras, the 63rd year for the Young Person's Concerts and the 40th season for our Summer Music Camp. Over the last five years, enrollment in the Sarasota Youth Orchestras has grown by 50%, from 232 to 348 students. 62% of the students receive financial support to participate in the programs.

Sarasota Orchestra’s outreach program in support of Manatee County schools was selected for the 2015 Yale Symposium on Music in Schools and received the Yale Distinguished Music Educator Award.  
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

Over the last five years, enrollment in the Sarasota Youth Orchestras has grown by 50%, from 232 to 348 students.

We have been most fortunate to recruit the finest instructors to enhance the experience for our area youth who are all highly regarded 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 $713,051
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

· AArtistic Director Robert Levin concluded his successful tenure as leader of the Festival in June 2016. After an extensive search process, the Board of Directors is thrilled to announce that acclaimed pianist and music director of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Jeffery Kahane will step into the role of Festival Music Director during the 2017 Festival.

Long Term Success

The Sarasota Music Festival, founded by Paul Wolfe, began in 1965. The first Festival was 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. More than 40 faculty and 60 students converge on Sarasota from around the globe for this 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
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.
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 82
Volunteers 400
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, Van Wezel Foundation, Jewish Family and Children's Services, Ringling College of Art & Design, Gloria Musicae, and the Baltimore Orioles.
External Assessments and Accreditations
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
Continuity of Operations Plan No
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistle Blower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy No
Policies and Procedures No
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.
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
David Green Independent Marketing and Branding Professional
Arnold Hoffman Retired
Tom Koski Retired
Richard Lannamann Willowmere Investments
Jill Levine Community Volunteer
Billy Robinson Retired Sarasota City Clerk
Tom Ryan Retired
Tammie Sandoval BMO/Harris Bank
Robin Serbin Serbin Printing
Susan Sofia Arts Advocate
David Steves Attorney
Lois Stulberg Retired
Charles Wood Investor
Board Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 18
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Gender
Male 11
Female 7
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 3
Board Orientation Yes
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 7
Board Meeting Attendance % 88
Board Self-Evaluation Yes
Written Board Selection Criteria Yes
Board Conflict of Interest Policy Yes
% of Board Making Monetary Contributions 100
% of Board Making In-Kind Contributions 11
Fiscal Year Projections
Fiscal Year Begins 2016
Fiscal Year Ends 2017
Projected Revenue $8,894,178.00
Projected Expenses $9,112,993.00
Organization has Endowment Yes
Endowment Value $24,770,328.00
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
IRS Form 990s
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 Year201620152014
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
Government Contributions$566,621$761,001$560,959
Individual Contributions$2,726,606$2,495,951$2,790,167
Investment Income, Net of Losses$120,820$113,085$112,876
Membership Dues$0$0$0
Special Events$486,547$472,271$577,387
Revenue In-Kind$54,649$10,750$10,332
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201620152014
Program Expense$7,506,464$7,150,896$6,597,355
Administration Expense$842,806$937,784$801,441
Fundraising Expense$661,487$548,903$645,481
Payments to Affiliates$0$0$0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses0.960.961.01
Program Expense/Total Expenses83%83%82%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue13%11%13%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201620152014
Total Assets$9,045,782$9,210,237$9,800,739
Current Assets$2,468,741$2,396,796$5,872,976
Long-Term Liabilities$178,542$212,225$320,443
Current Liabilities$2,071,581$1,873,090$1,937,469
Total Net Assets$6,795,659$7,124,922$7,542,827
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201620152014
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountContributions, gifts, grants $2,726,606Contributions, gifts, grants $2,495,951Contributions, gifts, grants $2,790,167
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountSymphony Concerts $2,634,226Symphony Concerts $2,423,500Symphony Concerts $2,210,570
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountRelated Organizations $1,182,746Foundation & Corporate Support $1,212,000Foundation & Corporate Support $1,095,574
CEO/Executive Director Compensation $150,001 - $175,000
Tax Credits No
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities1.191.283.03
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets2%2%3%
Financials Comments
Financial Comments by Foundation Financial figures taken from IRS Form 990.  990 and audit are reconciled. State and local government grants are commingled and not separately stated in the audited financial statements.
Nonprofit Sarasota Orchestra
Address 709 N Tamiami Trl
Sarasota, FL 4047
Phone 941 953-4252