Tag: performing arts


ATTENTION CLOSERS – This is the job for you!

SD&A Teleservices is seeking energetic, articulate and enthusiastic sales agents to join our New York City telesales team.

The details:

  • Outbound telesales and fundraising campaigns focusing on season tickets, memberships and donations
  • Competitive base pay + commission
  • Convenient office locations in Manhattan
  • Flexible scheduling: part-time, weekday and weekend hours available
  • Comprehensive training
  • Select complimentary tickets

Who we are looking for:

  • Professional, assertive, team players with a positive attitude
  • Computer experience a plus
  • Knowledge of theatre, ballet or orchestral music a plus

For nearly thirty-seven years, SD&A Teleservices has served many of the nation’s most prestigious performing arts organizations. Our New York operations include the New York Philharmonic, American Ballet Theatre, New York City Ballet, Great Performers at Lincoln Center, Associate Alumnae of Douglass College and Yale Repertory Theatre. We are looking for dedicated, passionate professionals interested in contributing to the incredible legacy of these organizations.

If you believe you have the skills and motivation to excel in this position, please email your resume to Michael Ruiz, Manager: mruiz@sdatel.com.


Why do orchestras have so many violins?

By Maddy Shaw Roberts, classicfm.com

We’re so used to seeing a symphony orchestra packed with violinists that we don’t even think to question it anymore. But have orchestras always had so many violins? And why do they need them?

Let’s take the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra as an example. Here they are playing Beethoven’s Symphony No.5, conducted by Gustavo Dudamel – and there are probably about twenty violinists onstage.


This is pretty normal, as a symphony orchestra is usually made up of (give or take) around ten first violins and ten second violins, ten violas, eight cellos and six double basses.

So why does an orchestra need twenty-plus violins?

Violins are well-suited to playing melody, making them one of the most important instruments in the orchestra.

Firstly, they are the highest string instrument, so their bright tone rises above the rest of the string section.

Secondly, they are played with a bow, unlike woodwind or brass instrument which rely on air. This means that players are able to perform longer melodic passages – with plenty of fast finger-work.

And why are there fewer woodwind and brass instruments?

Imagine you’re sitting next to a violinist while they’re playing, then imagine you’re sitting next to a trumpeter mid-performance. The difference in sound is massive.

In fact, in professional orchestras today there are often perspex screens positioned in front of the brass, woodwind and percussion sections to deflect some of the force of sound coming from them.

So although violins have a high, singing quality, they are not particularly loud. So, just as you need more upper voices to make sure they’re heard over the lower voices in a choir, you need at least two violins to get a balance of sound with the woodwind and brass instrument.


But why do orchestras need two violin sections?

While the first violin section normally has the melody or counter-melody, the second violin section tends to play a lower harmony. This works in the same way for the woodwind section – except the numbers are far fewer.

Let’s use the oboe as an example. If you play first oboe, you are normally the only one playing the ‘first oboe’ part, and therefore the only one playing that line of music. But if you play first violin, you are one of ten playing that line.

Simply put, there need to be enough violins to balance out the bright, penetrating sound of the oboe.

It’s also to do with classical music history

Since the Baroque period, violins have pretty much always been included in orchestral scores.

Orchestras specialising in Baroque music tend to be much smaller and more focused on string instruments. In fact, pre-1700s, the leader of the first violin section led the whole orchestra, instead of a modern-day conductor.

However, in Romantic and 20th-century music, composers like Mahler, Wagner and Stravinsky began to write for a wider range of brass, woodwind and percussion instruments.

One result of that was that the orchestras playing Mahler’s Resurrection Symphony or Stravinsky’s The Firebird needed more strings, because the sound of the non-string instruments needed to be balanced out – read more about this on Quora.


Today, the violin is an incredibly popular instrument and some of classical music’s biggest stars are violinists – think of Nicola Benedetti, Joshua Bell and Itzhak Perlman.

But did this all happen by chance? Perhaps if Baroque composers had decided the oboe sounded better on the melody, we might be listening to orchestras with a very different make-up. Or maybe not…

It’s hard to imagine a symphony orchestra without those beautiful sweeping strings…



Considering a telemarketing campaign for your organization? Wondering which vendor to choose? To help you decide, check out the glowing feedback our team of callers received from our client at the Los Angeles Philharmonic:

Dear SD&A Telemarketing Staff,

Over the last two weeks, I have spent over 20 hours listening to our ticket buyers in focus groups. A few trends regarding our telemarketing team continued to surface.

1. Our patrons described you as kind, knowledgeable, caring, and enthusiastic. They felt you were “not the average telemarketing call”.  Even those with some with mild annoyance in their tones still commented on the quality of the calls. Annoyance, frustration and the feeling of being “called too much” is part of the gig, but what makes you exceptional is your care for our patrons and the LA Phil.

2. You provide an invaluable service. Of the new subscribers we talked to, 80% of them subscribed because of a phone call or because they saw a table at their concert.  Subscriptions are vitally important to the LA Phil and you are successfully capturing those orders through every channel and interaction available to you.

3. You really know how to sell. We heard from many patrons who would have never considered subscribing if it weren’t for your phone calls.  You broke down all of their barriers (too expensive, too far to travel, too cumbersome, too inflexible, too much hassle, etc.) and gave them a new perspective on subscribing and how they could enjoy LA Phil concerts throughout the season, on their terms.

4. You bring tremendous joy and fulfillment to so many across all corners of Los Angeles. Many would not attend without your phone call and they are therefore grateful for it.  You encourage them to get off the couch, out of the house, and explore their city through attending LA Phil concerts.  There are thousands of people whose lives are enriched by the concerts you enable them to attend.

Our research firm who deals with nonprofits from around the country commented on how rare it is to receive so many positive compliments from patrons regarding our telemarketing staff.

Thank you for all that you do for the LA Phil.  You have elevated the experiences of our loyal patrons.

With gratitude and care,

Nora Brady

Director, Audience Strategies and Insights, Los Angeles Philharmonic

For more information on SD&A’s services, please contact Mary Jane Avans (Vice President, Business Development) at mjavans@sdatel.com or (678) 904-1583.




Located in a charming historic building in the vibrant Fairlie-Poplar district, ATC EAST offers a personal touch not found at large, off-site call centers. This boutique phone room emulates the proven, on-site campaign model that has been generating revenue for SD&A clients since 1983.

Supervised by an experienced campaign manager and staffed by callers who are expertly versed in the arts, ATC EAST provides a cost-effective solution for arts organizations that are unable to host an on-site campaign.

ATC EAST callers are divided into teams, and each team is dedicated to specific campaigns, allowing us to capitalize on each caller’s proven skill sets and their expertise in various artistic disciplines. This fosters a strong allegiance between our callers and the clients they serve – almost as if the callers were working at the client’s home location.

Equipped with the latest technology, ATC EAST is powered by our propriety lead management software, which dramatically increases the efficiency of our campaigns, boosting contact rates by 20% to as much as 100%.

SD&A has conducted many successful campaigns for our clients at ATC EAST. Our increased capacity at the new location provides the opportunity to partner with new organizations to help them meet their revenue goals.


Ilonka Salisbury, a customer service expert with over 30 years of experience training fundraising and marketing professionals at some of the nation’s largest performing arts organizations, has teamed up with SD&A to conduct specialized training workshops in the art of Holistic Customer Service, a technique that transforms the effectiveness of, the cohesion between, and the very essence of outbound calls, inbound calls, and face-to-face interactions with patrons at the box office.

Experience tells us that arts organizations can create new customers and increase sales through relationship building and conversation. This is Ilonka Salisbury’s core focus and area of expertise. “Don’t just make sales,” she instructs.  “Make customers for life.”

Holistic Customer Service emphasizes empathy and personalized connections based on the commonalities that make us human. Kindness, graciousness and gratitude are the guiding principles of this methodology. It is rooted in the simple notion that all of us, no matter who we are, respond positively to being treated with respect, and consequently, wish to continue being a part of any such relationship.

Our training workshops are customized to align with your specific organizational goals. The tools that your representatives will be given are not scripted responses; rather, our workshops offer intuitive insight into how your representatives can tap into their own natural instincts to best serve the needs of the patron and the organization.

Through in-depth, in-person training sessions, your representatives will learn how to:

  • employ empathy to build a bridge in every conversation.
  • follow an effective “road map” to help guide the conversation.
  • remove the stigmas associated with sales and telemarketing.
  • be caring, helpful and delightful ambassadors for your organization.
  • understand who they are speaking with (and when to use or not use jargon).
  • develop the patience required to let customers say whatever they need or want to say.
  • pick up on the subtleties of the dialogue instead of diving right into the sale (by listening to what patrons are not saying).
  • use positive, engaging and active language versus passive language.
  • answer questions without sounding obnoxious or off-putting.
  • eliminate inhibitions.
  • effectively diffuse a conversation if it escalates.
  • strengthen their attentiveness, knowledge of the product, and passion for it.

Our training workshops are designed to give your organization a working foundation in the philosophies and best practices of Holistic Customer Service, which can be used for the ongoing training of current representatives and for future hires as well.

For additional information, contact:

Mary Jane Avans  |  mjavans@sdatel.com  |  (678) 904-1583