WICHITA SYMPHONY SOCIETY

aka Wichita Symphony   |   Wichita, KS   |  www.wichitasymphony.org

Mission

The mission of the Wichita Symphony is to enrich, educate, and entertain diverse audiences of all ages in our region through performances of orchestral music, thereby enhancing the vibrancy and vitality of Wichita.

Ruling year info

1956

Chief Executive Director

Mr. Donald F. Reinhold

Music Director

Mr. Daniel Carl Hege

Main address

Century II Concert Hall, Ste. 207 225 W. Douglas

Wichita, KS 67202 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

48-0671518

NTEE code info

Symphony Orchestras (A69)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Healthy cities nurture their arts organizations that enhance and enrich the quality of life for its people. The Wichita Symphony provides significant work for musicians and supporting personnel, and contributes to the economic engine of our community. These ideas are the premise upon which the Wichita Symphony acts, and which our mission addresses: To enrich, educate, and entertain diverse audiences of all ages in our region through the performances of orchestral music, thereby enhancing the vibrancy and vitality of Wichita.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Classics Concerts

Performances by the Wichita Symphony of symphonic repertoire past and present, and representative of the diverse community of Wichita. Concert presented between September and April. Featuring renowned national and international artists. Most concerts conducted by Music Director Daniel Hege.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Children and youth

A varied program of Pops concerts performed annually by the Wichita Symphony with distinguished guest artists.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Children and youth

Concerts designed for children, grades 3 - 8. Performed for approximately 24,000 students and teachers annually.
Two of the concert season's weeks are dedicated to these concerts that are attended by over 120 different schools.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Young People's Concerts cannot be held and a virtual video project for children and schools is available for viewing on the Symphony's website and YouTube channel.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

Four ensembles for music students ages 8 - 17 rehearse weekly between August and March and perform two concerts during the school year. Youth Chamber Players introduces students who play string instruments to ensemble performance. Repertory Orchestra introduces students to symphonic literature. Wind Ensemble trains experienced players in the repertoire composed for wind ensemble. Youth Symphony trains advanced students. Over 250 students participate each year.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

A program offering professional orchestra experience and training to ten to twelve graduate students enrolled in the Master's program at the School of Music, Wichita State University.

Population(s) Served
Students

Where we work

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Our Goals are to achieve the following:

• Provide the highest quality orchestra experiences in performance on par with orchestras in bigger cities.

• Offer comprehensive educational and continuing learning opportunities for people of all ages, but with particular emphasis on the youth of our city and region.

• Manage and govern the organization with prudent fiscal responsibility and best practices of contemporary governance.

• Achieve the level of public recognition, respect, and engagement worthy of being a cultural flagship in the City of Wichita.

Centering on our community, the Wichita Symphony has a strategic plan that revolves around four cornerstones. It starts with artistic excellence. We pride ourselves in our level of artistic achievement performing at a level that often exceeds expectations for a regional orchestra. We capitalize on the creative resources of our community. Most of our musicians live locally. Our Music Director, while not a Wichita resident, is a graduate of a nearby college and has deep roots in our region. We invite guest artists who regularly perform on the stages of major, big-city orchestras.

But excellence is not enough. Our second strategic cornerstone supports education about music for people of all ages. We believe
music is a lifelong passion that begins in childhood. We promote this by introducing children to symphonic music at a Young People’s Concert or developing skills on a musical instrument in our Youth Orchestras program. Opportunities for broadening and deepening one’s appreciation and knowledge of music are essential for the continuing education of adults.

With education about music, there follows engagement as the third cornerstone of our strategy. Engagement is as simple as deciding to attend a concert or participate with peers in a youth orchestra ensemble. Taking small ensembles into the community to perform for students or civic organizations broadens engagement with a diverse population. An interactive website blog encourages interaction with a broader community.

As people deepen their levels of engagement through ticket purchases, participation at lectures, events, and educational experiences, we arrive at the fourth cornerstone of strategy, which is financial strength. This cornerstone is where patrons purchase a season ticket to the Symphony and become contributing patrons. For our high school patrons, it may be a commitment to the Youth Symphony throughout their secondary education. Financial strength provides the resources to grow artistic excellence, educational, and engagement opportunities. Hence, the four cornerstones become a cyclical force dependent on the success of each.

As we enact these cornerstones, we seek to deepen, broaden, and diversify our relationships with symphony patrons and the community. The Symphony strives to be an adaptive organization that responds to the changing demographics and artistic desires of the city.

The success of these strategies will lead to civic stature, respect, and recognition throughout the community. A broader and committed patron base will create financial stability, thereby enabling the organizational and community vibrancy that continually builds upon the strategic cornerstones.

Founded in 1944, the Wichita Symphony enjoys over seventy-five years of providing outstanding symphonic and educational experiences to the Wichita region. It is the largest professional orchestra in the State of Kansas and serves the south-central region of the State. Experience and history speak to the capabilities of the organization.

The organization has a healthy balance sheet, an endowment over $6 million, and strong financial oversight by the Board of Directors. Since recovering from the Great Recession, the Symphony has been debt-free for over six years. Net assets of $7.2 million (September 2019) have increased by over 80% since 2012. The Symphony engages an independent Controller who reviews financial activity, prepares easily understood financial statements for the Board, and ensures proper payroll processes. The Symphony contracts with an independent auditor who conducts the annual audit.

Charity Navigator recognizes the financial strength of the organization and the governance transparency of the Board with a coveted four-star rating of the Symphony for the past four years. This the highest rating for any cultural nonprofit in the State of Kansas. The Wichita Symphony is also one of the highest-rated symphony orchestras evaluated by Charity Navigator in the United States.

Thirty-nine community leaders serve as the Board of Directors. The Board works to be inclusive and successfully attracts a diverse contingency. Board participation as donors is 100%. Directors have organized and managed fundraisers and special events. A Women’s Association periodically produces designer showhouses that have contributed over $1.5 million to the Symphony’s resources over the years. The Association also provides over forty volunteers for every day of the Young People’s Concerts. A Parents’ Advisory Committee formed three years ago to support Youth Orchestras activities. Financial and volunteer support, as well as student participation and engagement, increased measurably.

Competitive auditions maintain the orchestra’s professional excellence. The Music Director is an experienced leader who holds top positions at two other orchestras. He has over twenty-five years of experience conducting symphony orchestras. A collaborative relationship with the Wichita State University’s School of Music helps attract top-level faculty and graduate students to the community.

In 2019, the Symphony hired a new concertmaster and assigned the additional title of Partner for Audience Engagement. This innovative relationship will build upon her proven capabilities and mastery of social networking and fundraising.

An experienced administrative leader with over thirty years in managing music and orchestra programs leads a talented, professional staff. The office added a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) database in 2013 that serves both Box Office and patron development needs.

Unique, innovative, and adventurous programming highlighted by frequent community collaborations distinguishes the Wichita Symphony over the past five seasons and demonstrates artistic achievement. Examples include:

• A production of Bartok’s Bluebeard’s Castle (2015) with the acclaimed international bass Samuel Ramey. The Symphony collaborated with Chihuly Studios in Seattle to bring in over 9,000 pounds of blown glass sets. Wichita is one of about a half dozen orchestras in the world to undertake this expensive and stunning visual and musical experience.

• Two collaborations with Music Theatre Wichita to produce Rodgers and Hammerstein Broadway musicals in semi-staged concert versions. We produced Carousel in 2017 and South Pacific in 2019. Both concerts were among the top-selling productions in the Wichita Symphony’s history.
• Astronomer, Dr. José Francisco Salgado, provided films with NASA generated imagery to accompany performances of Holst's’ The Planets (2018) and Ravel’s Daphnis and Chloe Suites (2019). The latter celebrated the 70th anniversary of man’s landing on the moon.
• A performance of Britten’s War Requiem on the day marking the centennial of World War One Armistice. Collaborating exhibits and lectures at the Wichita Art Museum and the Wichita-Sedgwick County Historical Museum added to the significance of the event. (November 2018)
• Performances of all four Rachmaninoff Piano Concertos plus the Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini with the French pianist Lise de la Salle. Wichita was the only orchestra in the world to undertake this adventurous project with de la Salle over two concerts on a single weekend (February 2019).

The Wichita Symphony Youth Orchestras program offers musical training to about 270 students in grades four through twelve. The three-ensemble program expanded with a Wind Ensemble in 2018 and added a percussion ensemble in 2019. In the spring of 2018, the senior ensemble, the Youth Symphony, made their first-ever “off-campus” trip to Colorado Springs, followed by a weekend where we hosted the Colorado Springs Youth Symphony. In June 2020, the Youth Symphony travels to Chicago for cultural enrichment and performs concerts in Missouri and Iowa along the way.

After adding a full-time staff member for education and community engagement in 2017, the Symphony’s connections and engagement with the community have grown measurably. We reached over 65,000 people during the 2018 – 2019 season, more than double the level of previous outreach, and achieved primarily with small ensembles, lectures, and event representation. The Symphony continues to offer free community concerts for the Holiday season and at Wichita’s Riverfest.

The Symphony continues to diversify its programming. During the 2019 – 2020 season, the Symphony performs music by four women composers, two African Americans on the subscription series, and a Young People’s Concert and Family Concert devoted to the culture of Mexico.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    Diverse people of all ages primarily living in south-central Kansas in the region around Wichita

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    SMS text surveys, Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Paper surveys, Constituent (client or resident, etc.) advisory committees,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    As a result of having to cancel concerts during the pandemic, the Wichita Symphony creatively pivoted to online offerings and outdoor performances to respond to the needs of the community who desire classical music. Examples of video opportunities included a 24-week series of Zoom recitals hosted by our concertmaster, a semester of weekly educational videos taught by a conductor in our Youth Orchestra program, and the development of a video to replace in-person Young People's Concerts. Innovation led to new collaborations in the community, including one with Wichita Parks and Recreation that placed small ensembles throughout the City in various parks for free, outdoor mini-concerts in the spring and fall, and a joint venture with our local Botanica.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

  • How has asking for feedback from the people you serve changed your relationship?

    It's an on-going process that's leading to a deepening of our relationship with patrons and opening doors to broadening and diversifying our public.

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We act on the feedback we receive,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

Financials

WICHITA SYMPHONY SOCIETY
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

WICHITA SYMPHONY SOCIETY

Board of directors
as of 8/23/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mrs. Lori Supine

Senseney Music, Wichita, KS

Term: 2021 - 2023

Ebony Clemons-Ajibolade

Westar Energy

Barbara Crotchett

Roger Eastwood

Daniel Flynn

Pioneer Balloon Company

Kurt Friesen

Friesen Tool & Die Co.

Guy Glidden

Kurt Harper

Depew, Gillen, Rathbun & McInteer, LC

William Hercher

William Hercher, P.A.

Jerry Juhnke

Juhnke Financial Services

Greg Keith

Sedgwick County District Court

Delmar Klocke

Brenda Lawton

Wichita Children's Theatre & Dance Center

Rodney Miller

Wichita State University

Miah Schneider

American Red Cross

Bob Scott

State Farm Insurance

Shoko Sevart

Sevart & Sevart

Lori Supinie

Senseney Music

James Thomas

Thomas Energy, Inc.

Jon Tiger

Jim Vayda, M.D.

Via Christi Hospital

Ted Vlamis, Jr.

Pioneer Balloon Co.

Kathryn Webb

Janet Wesselowski

Ken White

Howerton/White

Carlos Wriedt

Substance Abuse Center of Kansas

Tom Ashcom

Cardiovascular Consultant

Dianne Allison

Trust Company of Kansas

Rachel Douglass

Textron Aviation

Stephen Eddy

Textron Aviation

Robert Gibson

Koch Chemical Technology Group

Jacquelyn Grant

Jamie Hunt

Women's Association of the Wichita Symphony

Jennifer Jones

Emprise Bank

Steen Mortensen

Steven Smith

Hinkle Law Firm, LLC

Denise Wickham

Berry Companies, Inc.

Alejandro Garcia

INTRUST Bank

Mia Harper

Cargill

David Jervis

Range Oil Company

Jamil Malone

Cargill

Rebecca White

Zepick Cardiology

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 08/23/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

The organization's co-leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Multi-Racial/Multi-Ethnic (2+ races/ethnicities)
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data