Little Orchestra Society Turns to Audiences to Select a New Name

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James Judd, conductor

The Little Orchestra Society is looking to rename itself and is asking its audiences for their input.

The New York orchestra, founded in 1947, currently presents a series of concerts at the Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College and at Avery Fisher Hall, many geared towards children and focusing on pieces like Peter and the Wolf and Hansel and Gretel. But the group has bigger plans, and it says the name doesn't necessarily convey those.

The decision took hold last year when James Judd became the orchestra’s new music director. As he explains in a new online video, the transition means "we’re looking at everything afresh." As such, "we decided that now might be a good time to consider a new name."

Anyone can submit their suggestions through March 9 at littleorchestra.org. The rebranding effort was first reported by the New York Times on Wednesday.

While the crowd-sourcing project may be unique, classical organizations have long sought to shift with the times through renaming. The New York Philharmonic was known as the Philharmonic Society of New York in its early decades. The Chicago Symphony began life as the Theodore Thomas Orchestra, after its founder. The early-music group Banchetto Musicale later became the now-familiar Boston Baroque.

The Little Orchestra Society plans to announce its new name later this year.