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South Dakota Symphony Orchestra Case Study

Orchestra members playing
Orchestra members playing

Through a partnership with Pollen Midwest, we created a case study to learn how SDSO is moving the regional orchestra experience toward a model that shares the power of music with the entire community.

While regional orchestras across the country are struggling to remain relevant and financially sustainable, the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra is thriving. It thinks differently about how regional orchestras can engage in problem-solving work and asks itself, "How do we use the orchestra to make our community better?"

Welcome Ideas

“Bridges go both ways”: It’s a phrase commonly heard among South Dakota Symphony Orchestra staff, and points to the value they place upon learning from other cultures.

community illustration

Represent Community

Now, as it enters its 13th year, the Lakota Music Project is transitioning from breadth to depth, with a new phase that values spending more time in fewer communities—starting with only two: the area around the Black Hills in the western half of the state, and Sisseton, South Dakota, a small town in the northeastern corner.


Orchestra Members Rehearsing

Featured Video

See how SDSO is transforming the traditional, transactional orchestra model into one that is focused on service to the community.