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Examine an arts organisation of your own choice in depth

The organisation chosen for the purposes of this assignment was the Scottish Chamber Choir based in Edinburgh. It has been in existence for thirty four years and has toured successfully both nationally and internationally during this time. It employs a small group of people whose job is to keep the organisation alive and thriving and the Orchestra itself developing and performing its music throughout the national and geographic circuit as well as provide the city of Edinburgh and nation of Scotland with its own chamber Orchestra.

Overall sense of direction and control. (Work of board and directors. Board controlling committee)

The Scottish Chamber Orchestra is an organisation set up by the arts council of Scotland for the purposes of providing Scotland and particularly Edinburgh with a representative chamber orchestra. This is traditionally based upon, and is very much a part of, the preservation, reproduction and development of the arts, both classic and contemporary, within Edinburgh and the greater region of Scotland. Due to this, the SCO is firmly set up to administrate and represent Scotland's national interest in line with their production of music encompassing the relationship that this has with the greater world (Scottish Arts Council, 2008). This is essentially its brand identity. However, rather than being organised by a governmental department as is often the case with state sanctioned or heritage based associations, the organisation is an independent group that is based upon a small hierarchy of employees in terms of decision making and operating. That is not to say that it has complete control over the nature and future of the organisation in terms of ideology and such like. However, in line with specifications and directives given by the arts council, it is otherwise autonomous making it free to organise itself as an independent group despite it not being a product based independent competitor.

Building development and access to Capital (Funded from lottery/ Council?)

The SCO gains less than fifty percent of its funding from public sources and stakeholders, such as the sponsorship and funding that we have mentioned. Although this provides it with its status, brand image and base needs, the Orchestra still depends upon charitable trusts and foundations. It has over fifty trust funds from recognised governmental and independent heritage groups that provide funds so that it can further support itself at a base level. These donations go some way to further securing that illustrious brand identity (Meerman Scott, 2007). However, although this provides its base funding and the employee base is relatively small, the SCO still depends upon other sources of finance to sustain itself and maintain its survival and reciprocation from a financial, procedural and artistic stand point. Membership facilitates an income in exchange for information and a say in the future direction of the SCO. The member ships are staggered to bring in income based upon the provision of service. These are named the Patron, which costs up to £120 per annum; the Bronze Patron, which costs up to £150 or more per annum; the Silver Patron, which costs up to £300 or more per annum; the Gold Patron which costs up to £600 or more per annum; the Platinum Patron, which costs up to £1,000 or more per annum and the Principal Conductor's Circle, which costs up to £5,000 or more per annum (SCO, 2008). Although each membership offers different opportunities, such as quality and quantity of seating and transport and so on, it does not restrict information or opinion regarding the future action taken by the SCO.

Alongside membership as a source of funding, the Orchestra is also broadcast regularly and has a discography exceeding one hundred and forty recordings. This allows for more commercial recognition as well as provides a stream of sales for the SCO (Baker, 2008). What is also deemed fundamental to the SCO is the involvement of children from the local community who are seen as part of the culture and heritage process and so is believed to reciprocate and perpetuate the success and overall life of the SCO. This also attracts the attention of both sponsorship and funding. It also provides essential voluntary and project work for the organisation. In return, grants from stakeholders and the arts council contributes to young people of the community in helping them create pieces of music of their own doing via two local workshops at a primary school in Edinburgh. Projects such as this, which are funded, gain the return of both voluntary work and also the generation of commercial interest and sponsorship, whilst also providing a performance and product to sell in the form of the subsequent recordings, with a specific novelty value. Essentially, the choir then performs such pieces during a series of concerts and records them for commercial sale.

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