Strategic Plan: 2008 – 2013

One of the strongest initiatives that surfaced from operating in a lean environment was the implementation of our PlayOUT campaign.  PlayOUT, a concerted effort to reach out and play together, demonstrates HYS’s commitment to making ourselves better and more impactful to benefit our students and ensure the organization’s long-term sustainability.  PlayOUT, adopted by our board and management team in the 2009-2010 season, encourages new ideas and thinking beyond our individual organization.  It calls for collaborative thinking and partnerships to reap greater rewards than what we can achieve alone, creating improved programming and cost benefits.  It changes the way we look at ourselves, and we are incorporating it into our way of doing business.

HYS 2008 – 2013 Strategic Plan

I. Implement and sustain consistent, high-quality, accessible programming that ensures a comprehensive music education spectrum. The continuum is designed to recruit and flow naturally from the absolute beginner to the most accomplished student musician.

Program Description

Building the foundation; Building beginner interest

  • Recognizing that the String Program is the foundation for the Symphony Orchestras, increase participation in program to ensure continual pool of strong strings candidates to feed into Symphony Orchestras
  • Focus on building awareness of program throughout the community, especially with elementary school educators.
  • Evaluate summer String Program
  • Establish a beginner-intermediate winds program that reaches out to new pools of students who may not have music programs in their schools or may not feel comfortable participating in school programs.

Climbing to the highest level of achievement

Reposition the orchestras within the Symphony Orchestra Program to ensure optimal learning and a logical, progressive flow from one orchestra to the next.

  • Concert Orchestra: The Introductory Symphony where students are introduced to different families of instruments, symphony protocol, symphony repertory, etc. Students learn to come together as a 100-person ensemble and work on classical repertoire that they cannot get elsewhere.
  • Youth Symphony II: The Growth Symphony is the training ground for students who decide to seriously play symphonic music. It is the orchestra where students are stretched the furthest and grow the most to become highly accomplished musicians. Students focus on discipline, commitment and drive for symphony music.
  • Youth Symphony I: The Showcase Symphony where students are already highly accomplished and focus on the nuances of music. Play professional-level music. Students enter with a strong drive to play orchestral music and are pushed to the next level.

Strengthen Infrastructure

  • Update job descriptions for all music staff, including Music Director, and conduct regular staff evaluations.
  • Gaining through supplemental programs: Determine whether supplemental programs complement the music education spectrum.
  • Ensure complete accessibility to HYS programs, regardless of student’s socio-economic standing or geographic location, through a robust financial aid program.
  • Construct an evaluation plan to measure customer service and develop methods of improvement to drive customer satisfaction, whether the customer is a student, family, audience member or other HYS stakeholder.
  • Forge a succession plan to ensure smooth transitions for key music staff with varying readiness timelines.

II. Strengthen the organizational capacity of HYS staff and board to enable them to carry the organization effectively, securely and confidently through the next decade.


  • Technology optimization by all staff as an efficient means of operations as well as a means to find cost-savings.
  • Annual evaluations to ensure all staff are not only meeting their job requirements but are committed to the goals, mission and direction of the organization and are contributing to the best of their ability.
  • Enable professional development for staff.
  • Increase fundraising capacity, including establishment of a planned giving program.

Board of Directors

  • Develop a board with the fundraising strength needed to sustain the organization.
  • Articulate clear criteria for board members with expectations.
  • Develop a recruitment plan to ensure diversity and effectiveness of governing group.
  • Develop criteria for board evaluations on a group effectiveness and individual basis.
  • Develop a plan for Board succession and leadership development.

III. Build a strong community around HYS to ensure a vital future for the organization and future young musicians.

  • Foster collaborations with other organizations to increase exposure of HYS and open opportunities for innovative programming.
  • Cultivate HYS alumni, reintroduce them to HYS and utilize skills of this group to further the mission of HYS.
  • Develop and maintain strong ties with music educators and  professional musicians who serve as mentors, teachers, ambassadors for HYS.
  • Continually improve communications and HYS’s brand through a public relations and marketing plan.

IV. Develop a “home” for HYS that secures its future and mitigates the continual search for adequate rehearsal, administrative and performance space.

  • Strategize and implement plans to build a Hawaii Arts Center for Youth (HACY), a collaborative project that includes arts education organizations that provide a spectrum of performing arts training.
  • Engage experts to conduct studies to support the project and ensure its sustainability.
  • Work with the community to build support for HACY .

V. Provide service and outreach opportunities that not only reach underserved populations with limited access to music but also instill the value of community service in HYS students.

  • Develop and grow the free Listen & Learn educational concerts for ten thousand school children on Oahu and neighbor islands.
  • Ensure delivery of free, high-quality community concerts at pedestrian venues like shopping malls and at concert settings on the neighbor islands.
  • Bring music to those unable to access it themselves. Evaluate capacity to provide free Chamber Music Concerts for smaller venues such as convalescent homes, hospitals, community centers and other venues with under served populations unable to visit a formal concert setting.
  • Look for ways to ensure accessibility to any HYS concert for elderly and people living with disabilities.
  • Form partnerships with organizations that can increase outreach efforts.