November 20 — Watch marketing in action with the Kelley Group

McKeeContact: Professor James E. McKee,, 802.865.6495

Students interested in seeing a marketing brainstorming session at work are invited to check out the next Kelley Marketing Group meeting on campus.

When and Where: 7:45 a.m., Ireland 217

Remaining Fall 2013 Semester Dates:

* November 20: Jeffrey Domoto of the Vermont Youth Orchestra (VYOA)

* December 18 — TBA

Jeffrey Domoto of the Vermont Youth Orchestra (VYOA)

The VYOA develops young people as artists, citizens, and leaders through the shared pursuit of musical excellence.

The Vermont Youth Orchestra Association serves over 500 students from Vermont, New Hampshire and New York through our programs each year. Students range in age from 7 to 18 and participate in a progressive spectrum of choral and instrumental ensembles. Ensembles are led by highly skilled musicians with the support of local specialist teachers.

Youth music organizations: Green Mountain Youth Symphony (Montpelier), Essex Children\’s Choir, Flynn Show Choir. But our true competitors are the other extracurricular activities available to young people such as sports, theater, etc.

Competitor Comparison:
Our tuition is a bit higher than GMYS but competitive with many other activities given the amount of rehearsal time and performance opportunities. We are a big-city youth music organization in scope and size (around 12th in budget size among our national peers). Name recognition in the region is high but most people are aware only of the VYO (our top orchestra) and surprised to find out about our choral offerings and ensembles for younger musicians

Who Are Your Clients?:
Young musicians from grades 1-12 and their families.

What Are Your Challenges?:
Recruiting strategy and messaging is an area in critical need of attention — half of our revenue comes from tuition and we\’ve seen a decline in audition numbers and enrollment over the past 5 years. We need a strong message and effective channels to reach parents and convince them that our programs are a great investment of their children\’s time and of the funds available for their children\’s extracurricular activities.

Currently Marketing Your Organization?:
We rely primarily on reputation, encouragement of students to join by their private instructors and school music teachers. Each of our 6 large ensembles undertakes a one day school tour that reaches students in 2 schools (total of 12 schools). As music director, I visit schools on a regular basis to meet and sometimes work with the students in those schools\’ music programs.

Have A Marketing Plan?:

What Is Your Profit Goal?:
Our goal is to raise our enrollment to a level that can support the cost of our programs and facility given our fundraising capacity. To be truly sustainable at our current expense level, we\’d need to increase enrollment by ~50 students for our school-year programs.

Other Info?:
Overall demographic trends and pressures on school music programs have reduced the size of the pool of young musicians who can benefit from joining our organization. Beyond recruiting, we are focusing on identifying initiatives and partnerships to increase the proportion of children involved in music activities at the elementary school level and counteract current trends.

Some nonprofits have expressed interest in presenting to the Kelley Group, but many openings remain. If you know of a non-profit in need of our services, please have them contact Professor McKee directly.


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