The Syracuse Orchestra (previously known as Symphoria) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit formed in late 2012 as a musician-led cooperative orchestra, one of only two in the United States. This business model is designed to be artistically excellent, administratively lean, and financially resilient. The orchestra presents more than 50 concerts and reaches 100,000 people annually in venues ranging from libraries and health care facilities to public parks, churches, museums, and our home venue, the Crouse-Hinds Theater at the Civic Center.

The Syracuse Orchestra is composed of a diverse group of talented musicians hailing from all across the globe, bringing with them a breadth of musical talent that extends far beyond the Syracuse community.


To engage and inspire all community members throughout Central New York with outstanding orchestral and ensemble performances, and innovative education and outreach initiatives


To contribute to a diverse, vibrant, equitable, and culturally rich community through the power of great music, and in so doing, enhance the quality of life and economic vitality of Central New York.


We believe that understanding, appreciating, and fostering diversity, equity and inclusion serve our community by enhancing the quality of life and economic vitality in Central New York and by providing members of our community with a safe, welcoming, and rewarding place to live, grow and prosper. As a result, we affirm that diversity, equity, and inclusion are central priorities for our members, directors, and stakeholders.

We recognize that we have not done enough in these areas in the past, and we pledge to continuously improve our practices. In particular, we reiterate our commitment to making actionable and measurable changes to augment a culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion at all levels of our organizations by:

  • listening to and learning from our Central New York Black, Indigenous, and People Of Color (“BIPOC”) community and other underrepresented communities.
  • examining all policies, practices, systems, programs, and services within The Syracuse Orchestra on regular basis to ensure they reflect the highest standards of equity, inclusion, and diversity.
  • allocating time and resources to achieve diverse, equitable, and inclusive representation within our board, staff, volunteers, orchestra, repertoire, audience, and guest artists.
  • featuring composers and musicians from BIPOC and other underrepresented groups and presenting concerts and educational events to audiences of all traditions and backgrounds, at the highest possible level of performance.
  • creating programs tied to community events and history that are relevant to diverse audiences to bring awareness to and celebrate achievements, traditions, and culture of various groups of our community.
  • developing partnerships with organizations that work with musicians from underrepresented groups and removing barriers for them to work in our field.
  • supporting music education in underserved areas and encouraging broad and inclusive participation in all music programs.
  • creating an actionable plan to achieve these goals, to be evaluated quarterly by the Board of Directors to measure progress in each area.

As an American orchestra in the 21st century, we consider diversity, equity, and inclusion to be drivers of institutional excellence. We strive to create an inclusive organization where all people – musicians, youth orchestra members, staff, board members, volunteers, and audience – feel they truly belong. We recognize that this is ever-evolving work that requires attention, investment, and commitment at all levels of our organization, and we embrace this responsibility.


Value 1: Innovation
• We adapt to an ever-changing world, with confidence that we will grow and persevere.
• We use creativity and optimism lead our way; with flexibility and curiosity we thrive in finding uniqueness and joy in the performances that we curate.
• We continuously learn about, and respond to, our community’s needs. We are especially committed to listening to the BIPOC and other underrepresented communities to create an ever-more diverse and inclusive orchestra for CNY.
• We believe in The Syracuse Orchestra’s mission to represent our entire community with visionary concert and educational programming that reflects the diversity of CNY.
• We find fun for everyone. Because what is the point of being innovative without having fun?

Value 2: Excellence
• We present the highest quality performances of a wide variety of symphonic and chamber music in diverse styles, maintaining a balance between our stewardship of the great symphonic tradition of the past while also presenting under-represented voices from the past and present and the best new music written for orchestra. The Syracuse Orchestra brings world-renowned guest artists to our area, to collaborate with our fabulous musicians who are residents of the CNY community.
• We embrace our innovative governance model, demonstrating teamwork, trust, and collaboration between all stakeholders in our organization. We continually strive to improve by regularly examining all policies, practices, systems, programs, and services to ensure that they reflect the highest standards, particularly in the areas of equity, inclusion, and diversity.
• We efficiently use the financial resources shared with The Syracuse Orchestra by the community to maximize our artistic impact, with the utmost dedication to fairly compensating our musicians and collaborating artists.

Value 3: Collaboration
• We are stronger as a team than we are as individuals. We work together in kindness, integrity, and commitment in all interactions, from rehearsals to meetings, to build a better orchestra and a more optimistic community.
• Music = connection. Our collaborations with partners in the community are deliberate and intentional as to be meaningful for all participants. Programs are created in partnership with the community to connect regional events and history that are relevant to diverse audiences and bring awareness to and celebrate achievements, traditions, and culture of various groups in our community. Our collaborations create opportunities for growth and diversity and result in a safe
space where all feel welcome, especially in our relationships with musicians and other artists from underrepresented groups that remove barriers for them to work in our industry.
• Every voice in The Syracuse Orchestra family contributes to our growth and sustainability. We are grateful for a structure that allows musicians, board, and staff connected through music and common goals that serve The Syracuse Orchestra and the community. We allocate time and resources to achieve diverse, equitable, and inclusive representation from the community to The Syracuse Orchestra. We are transparent, candid, and open in our communications.