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Neponset Valley Philharmonic Orchestra Inc.

 PO Box 230706
 Boston, MA 02123
[P] (781) 381-3300
[F] --
Michael Reichman
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 Printable Profile (Summary / Full)
EIN 26-0852508

LAST UPDATED: 10/28/2014
Former Names Neponset Valley Philharmonic (2011)
Organization received a competitive grant from the Boston Foundation in the past five years No


Mission StatementMORE »

The mission of Symphony Nova is to turn today's aspiring orchestral musicians into tomorrow's successful artists.

Mission Statement

The mission of Symphony Nova is to turn today's aspiring orchestral musicians into tomorrow's successful artists.

FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year July 01, 2013 to June 30, 2014
Projected Income $110,000.00
Projected Expense $110,000.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • Educational Chamber Concerts
  • Musician's Training program
  • Orchestral Concerts

Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2012 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2011 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2010 (%)

For more details regarding the organization's financial information, select the financial tab and review available comments.


Mission Statement

The mission of Symphony Nova is to turn today's aspiring orchestral musicians into tomorrow's successful artists.

Background Statement

Founded and incorporated as a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) corporation in 2007, the Neponset Valley Philharmonic Orchestra (NVPO) performed our first two seasons at Showcase Live in Foxboro, MA.  In 2009, we began presenting our orchestral concerts at local schools, including King Philip Regional High School (Wrentham), where we continue to perform today. In addition to our orchestral concert season, our musicians create and present educational chamber music programs in local schools (including string quartet, brass quintet, woodwind quintet, and single instrument workshops).
In early 2012, we changed our name from the NVPO to Symphony Nova, and expanded our vision to become a professional training orchestra – making Symphony Nova the only professional training orchestra in New England. As of today, we now have a central office at Old South Church in Copley Square, and perform concerts at Old South Church as well as in the Neponset Valley. Our musicians, who gain additional non-performance related training from us each season, are graduates from internationally-acclaimed music schools in Boston and beyond.
Symphony Nova has an active Board of Directors, Advisory Council, and a part-time staff which includes a Music Director and Conductor, Assistant Conductor, Operations Manager, Marketing and Development Associate, Personnel Manager, Librarian and Intern.

Impact Statement

For the FY 12/13 season, our vision to become an advanced professional training orchestra in the Boston area became a reality.  For performances, the orchestra performed one pair of orchestral concerts - once each in Boston at the Old South Church and in Wrentham at King Philip Regional High School.  Additionally, as we have done every year,  the orchestra chamber groups performed numerous educational workshops at area schools.  For the musicians' education, we presented three masterclasses for our players on subjects including entrepreneurialism, tax preparation and string specific issues in the orchestra.
For FY 13/14, we will be performing two pairs of orchestral concerts in the same locations as listed above, with additional performances of the fall concert in Needham and Dedham.  In addition to our normal chamber music performances in schools, we'll be performing two children's concerts out on George's Island.  For our musicians, we're expanding our educational offerings with a collaboration with the New England Conservatory and will include launching a successful arts start-up, performance anxiety, public speaking, mock auditions and an orchestral reading session.

Needs Statement

As part of the new vision, the orchestra has continued to expand its geographic area and is working on strengthening and increasing the board size.  In addition, like all of the arts groups in the country, we need to increase our funding base to continue to grow and fulfill our mission. 
For the FY 13/14 season, the orchestra budget is around $110,000 and we'll need to raise about $20,000 new dollars to make the budget work. 
For subsequent years, our plan is to grow 10-20% per year. Looking at $130,000 and $160,000 respectively for the next two years.   Since the office and staff expenses will not change appreciably as we grow, most every additional dollar that we bring in will be used for programming. 
Our office staff is now two part-time employees - an Operations Manager and a Marketing & Development Associate.  Our office space is centrally located in Old South Church in Copley Square.

CEO Statement

Metro Boston is a community rich in musical tradition. There are more than 150 performing classical ensembles and four of the finest music departments in the world--the highest percentage per-capita in the nation. However, a gap exists between the graduate experience and full-time employment for the modern classical musician.
Only three other orchestras in the U.S. provide a post-graduate experience for emerging musicians to prepare them for their professional careers--none in New England.
A “ professional training orchestra” is not just about preparing musicians for the rigors of the weekly performance cycle of a typical ensemble setting but also helps to develop business and inter-personal skills that are required for the long-term success of musicians - topics not usually offered in conservatory programs.

Board Chair Statement


Geographic Area Served

City of Boston- Back Bay
Symphony Nova serves the Back Bay area of Boston as well as many towns in the Neponset Valley, including Dedham, Needham, Walpole and Wrentham. We are in the process of expanding our geographic area to include much more of Eastern Massachusetts.

Organization Categories

  1. Arts,Culture & Humanities - Symphony Orchestras
  2. Education - Educational Services
  3. -

Independent research has been conducted on this organization's theory of change or on the effectiveness of this organization's program(s)



Educational Chamber Concerts

A 45 minutes educational presentation for 3rd thru 6th graders.
Budget  $2,000.00
Category  Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Music
Population Served Children Only (5 - 14 years)
Program Short-Term Success  Over the course of 45 minutes, the students are introduced to a family of instruments (strings, woodwinds or brass) and also have an understanding of emotion and rhythm as it relates to music. 
Program Long-Term Success  Our goal in performing chamber music concerts for ages 8-12, is to introduce the students to their options for musical instruments and what it might mean to them.  Usually within 6 months, the students are selecting an instrument for orchestra and band and because of our presentations, have a much better sense of what they are choosing and why.
Program Success Monitored By  --
Examples of Program Success  We have been told anecdotally, that the numbers have increased for students choosing to play an instrument in the Walpole and Sharon school districts.

Musician's Training program

Several times each season, we offer our musicians the opportunity to learn from some of the best in the business.  This can be done pretty cheaply, since there is only one clinician involved at any given time. 
Budget  $2,000.00
Category  Education, General/Other Educational Programs
Population Served College Aged (18-26 years)
Program Short-Term Success  Information is passed on at each session.
Program Long-Term Success  The goal is to give our musicians skills that may not have been learned during their formal education, and most importantly, to keep them engaged and growing so that they will be ready when the right opportunity presents itself.  Or better yet, they can create the right opportunity.
Program Success Monitored By  We have had at least a dozen musicians move on to full-time positions over our 6 years as an organization.  There will most certainly be more.
Examples of Program Success 


Previous Assistant Conductor of Symphony Nova

Kansas City Symphony, Kansas City, Missouri since 2012


“My time as assistant conductor of Symphony Nova played an invaluable role in helping me prepare for major conducting auditions. It was the ideal environment in which to spend my first year out of graduate school, not just to help nurture my growth as a musician, but also to learn first-hand about the inner workings of a symphony orchestra. I am so grateful to Larry for giving me this wonderful opportunity, and for his willingness to involve me significantly in the artistic planning for the 2012-13 season -- I learned so much from the experience.  Also my greatest thanks go out to the board for welcoming me so warmly into the Symphony Nova family.

Orchestral Concerts

The full Orchestra performs several classical concerts each season, and each concert is performed at least twice - once in Boston and again in Wrentham, MA.
Budget  $40,000.00
Category  Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Musical Performances
Population Served Families Adults Elderly and/or Disabled
Program Short-Term Success  Symphony Nova is dedicated to nurturing music professionals through concerts, educational outreach and professional development programs. Nova members have the opportunity to enhance their post-college musical training with skills and qualities required of the 21st century musician through performance and instructional activities.
Program Long-Term Success   A "professional training orchestra” is not just about preparing musicians for the rigors of the weekly performance cycle of a typical ensemble setting.  It also helps develop business and inter-personal skills that are required for the long-term success of musicians and includes topics not offered in conservatory programs.
Program Success Monitored By 
As a result of the services and training offered to the musicians, they are able to secure advanced employment in well known orchestras, chamber ensembles and educational institutions.
Examples of Program Success  Peter Solomon, Principal Horn position in South Korea
Andrew Mee, 4th Horn in the Vancouver Symphony.
Eric Robins, Trumpet position in South Korea
Ross Holcombe, Principal Trombone, Spokane, WA
Roger Flatt, Trombone, Hyogo Performing Arts Center Orchestra in Japan.
Tom Haggerty, Principal Tuba, China National Center for the Performing Arts Orchestra, Beijing, China.
Natalie Favaloro, very active in Boston including Lyric Opera
Brian Sherwood, Associate Principal Viola, Omaha Symphony
Aram Demirjian, Assistant Conductor of Kansas City Symphony.

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

Our challenges in Boston include the saturation of the arts market, the large number of other entertainment options, the paradigm shift in funding nationwide and fundraising in general.  In the Neponset Valley, there is a lack of competition and therefore a lack of understanding of what we do as an arts group.
Our Opportunities are numerous including a unique branding opportunity, the Boston location, innovative artistic programming, lots of opportunities to build outreach programs and a chance to build our reputation through our musicians - both current and alums.


CEO/Executive Director Mr. Lawrence D. Isaacson
CEO Term Start Sept 2012
CEO Email
CEO Experience
We have thought over the past few years about hiring a part-time Executive Director, but the budget and our compact size currently don't warrant bringing in someone from the outside.  So I wear two hats at the moment - Executive Director and Music Director.  By taking on this role, it has allowed us to move the organization forward very quickly.  In addition to the work that I do on a daily basis for the orchestra, we have two part-time employees with diverse skill sets who can manage the day to day operations.  For now, this arrangement seems to work well.
Co-CEO --
Co-CEO Term Start --
Co-CEO Email --
Co-CEO Experience --

Former CEOs and Terms

Name Start End
-- -- --

Senior Staff

Name Title Experience/Biography
-- -- --


Award Awarding Organization Year
-- -- --


Affiliation Year
Leage of American Orchestras - Member 2011
Member of state association of nonprofits? No
Name of state association --

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
-- --



CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments


Foundation Comments


Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 0
Number of Part Time Staff 2
Number of Volunteers 3
Number of Contract Staff 0
Staff Retention Rate % 50%

Staff Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 2
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): --
Gender Female: 0
Male: 2
Not Specified 0

Plans & Policies

Organization has Fundraising Plan? Yes
Organization has Strategic Plan? Yes
Years Strategic Plan Considers --
Management Succession Plan Under Development
Business Continuity of Operations Plan No
Organization Policies And Procedures Under Development
Nondiscrimination Policy Under Development
Whistle Blower Policy No
Document Destruction Policy No
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy No
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Yes
State Registration Exempt

Risk Management Provisions


Reporting and Evaluations

Management Reports to Board? N/A
CEO Formal Evaluation and Frequency N/A N/A
Senior Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency N/A N/A
Non Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually


Board Chair Mrs. Susan Epstein
Board Chair Company Affiliation Wheaton College (Retired)
Board Chair Term May 2013 - May 2015
Board Co-Chair --
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation --
Board Co-Chair Term -

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Ms. Caroline Cole Community Volunteer Voting
Mrs. Susan Epstein Wheatin College (Retired) Voting
Mr. Lawrence Isaacson The Boston Conservatorhy Exofficio
Mrs. Barbara Kaplan Community Volunteer Voting
Ms. Marina Krickler Orchestra Member Exofficio

Constituent Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Youth Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Advisory Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status

Board Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 5
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): --
Gender Female: 4
Male: 1
Not Specified 0

Board Information

Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 6
Board Meeting Attendance % --
Written Board Selection Criteria Yes
Written Conflict Of Interest Policy Yes
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 66%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions 100%
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes

Standing Committees

  • Advisory Board / Advisory Council
  • Board Governance
  • Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
  • Executive
  • Marketing
  • Nominating
  • Program / Program Planning

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments


Foundation Comments



Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2012 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2011 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2010 (%)

Fiscal Year July 01, 2013 to June 30, 2014
Projected Income $110,000.00
Projected Expense $110,000.00
Form 990s

2012 Form 990

2011 Form 990

2010 Form 990

2009 Form 990

Audit Documents --
IRS Letter of Exemption

IRS Letter of Determination

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

Fiscal Year 2012 2011 2010
Total Revenue $88,507 $128,061 $108,280
Total Expenses $47,670 $147,963 $111,242

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Fiscal Year 2012 2011 2010
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
-- -- --
Government Contributions $0 $0 $0
    Federal -- -- --
    State -- -- --
    Local -- -- --
    Unspecified -- -- --
Individual Contributions $24,497 $89,006 $58,521
Indirect Public Support -- -- --
Earned Revenue $1,010 $30,554 $23,502
Investment Income, Net of Losses -- -- --
Membership Dues -- -- --
Special Events -- -- --
Revenue In-Kind -- $8,501 $26,257
Other -- -- --

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Fiscal Year 2012 2011 2010
Program Expense $1,818 $84,404 $87,206
Administration Expense $45,852 $63,559 $21,703
Fundraising Expense -- -- $2,333
Payments to Affiliates -- -- --
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 1.86 0.87 0.97
Program Expense/Total Expenses 4% 57% 78%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 0% 0% 4%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Fiscal Year 2012 2011 2010
Total Assets $39,752 $916 $18,439
Current Assets $36,356 $916 $18,439
Long-Term Liabilities $0 $0 $0
Current Liabilities $4,048 $5,419 $3,100
Total Net Assets $35,704 $-4,503 $15,339

Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources

Fiscal Year 2012 2011 2010
1st (Source and Amount) Estate of Amy B. Morril CLAT $50,000.00
-- --
-- --
2nd (Source and Amount) Florence and Richard Koplow Charitable Foundation $5,000.00
-- --
-- --
3rd (Source and Amount) Susan Epstein $3,400.00
-- --
-- --

Financial Planning

Endowment Value --
Spending Policy --
Percentage(If selected) --
Credit Line No
Reserve Fund No
How many months does reserve cover? --

Capital Campaign

Are you currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Purpose --
Campaign Goal --
Capital Campaign Dates -
Capital Campaign Raised-to-Date Amount --
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? --

Short Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2012 2011 2010
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities 8.98 0.17 5.95

Long Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2012 2011 2010
Long-term Liabilities/Total Assets 0% 0% 0%

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments


Foundation Comments

Financial summary data in charts and graphs are per the organization's IRS 990s.  Contributions from foundations and corporations are listed under individuals when the breakout was not available.
Specific details about revenue were provided by the organization. 


Other Documents

No Other Documents currently available.


The Impact tab is a section on the Giving Common added in October 2013; as such the majority of nonprofits have not yet had the chance to complete this voluntary section. The purpose of the Impact section is to ask five deceptively simple questions that require reflection and promote communication about what really matters – results. The goal is to encourage strategic thinking about how a nonprofit will achieve its goals. The following Impact questions are being completed by nonprofits slowly, thoughtfully and at the right time for their respective organizations to ensure the most accurate information possible.

1. What is your organization aiming to accomplish?


2. What are your strategies for making this happen?


3. What are your organization’s capabilities for doing this?


4. How will your organization know if you are making progress?


5. What have and haven’t you accomplished so far?