The Johnson City Symphony Orchestra kicks off its season tonight with guest solo artist Elizabeth Freimuth, a virtuoso on the French horn. The JCSO has an impressive schedule this year that promises to entertain and delight music lovers young and old.
The symphony orchestra is one of the arts that helps to enrich a community. And likewise, if the arts are to survive and prosper, programs like the symphony must have support from the community.
These are tough times for the arts and community orchestras are feeling the pinch most profoundly. Some symphonies in this country have taken extraordinary measures to deal with their financial difficulties. The Louisville Orchestra filed for bankruptcy protection in December, and symphonies in Charlotte, N.C., Indianapolis and Tampa, Fla., have dipped into their limited reserve funds.
The JCSO relies on concert ticket sales to cover 20 to 30 percent of the orchestra’s operating costs. The remaining portion of the budget is covered by private donations and corporate sponsorships, which have seen a dramatic decrease in recent years.
Adopt a Musician! is a key component of JCSO’s plan for returning the organization to financial stability after being slammed by the recession. The Adopt program gives patrons a chance to choose a member of the orchestra and donate a minimum of $150 to “adopt” that musician. The patron’s name goes in the program as that member’s sponsor and there’s a season-ending event that allows sponsors to hang out with their musicians.
For more information on Adopt a Musician!, call the JCSO office at 926-8742 or visit www.jcsymphony.com.