These trends are not surprising. Localizing the impact of orchestras could be said to go along with eating local grown food, local arts community festivals, etc. There are more orchestras in the US and the world than ever before. Each needs to find its local audience and grow closer to it, however required.
Models are out there for multiplying the orchestra’s connections with our communities. Service exchange, in which individual orchestral musicians are paid not only for rehearsals and concerts but to host a radio show or teach in a charter school (as is done by Memphis Symphony musicians), forges this type of authentic, person-to-person, profile-to-profile connection. Other examples abound but remain exceptions rather than common practice. The Richmond Symphony’s “Come and Play” concerts which have amateurs and pros playing side by side or the Reno Philharmonic’s annual “Spirit of the Season” concert which puts some 400 community musicians onstage with the full orchestra offer two more opportunities.