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News / Clark County News

Money woes force Vancouver Symphony to cancel April shows

By Mary Ann Albright
Published: March 25, 2010, 12:00am

The three teenage musicians tapped to play with the Vancouver Symphony in its April concerts will have to wait a month.

Financial straits prompted the orchestra to cancel its April 17 and 18 concerts, which were to highlight the winners of its Young Artists Competition and would have featured concertos by Mozart and Haydn.

The Young Artists winners instead will join the orchestra in its May 29 and 30 concerts, which in addition to the teens will feature polkas, waltzes and Richard Strauss’ “Death and Transfiguration.”

The April concerts were cut due to a budgetary shortfall, said Rich Brase, the orchestra’s marketing director. Ticket sales are up this season, but 80 percent of the orchestra’s revenue comes from corporate and private donations.

“Those donations are way down,” Brase said, chalking up the decline to the economy.

Optimistic for May

The organization’s board decided last week that it would be too difficult to shoulder all the costs associated with putting on the April concerts, including paying the orchestra and conductor and renting the performance venue.

The Vancouver Symphony is optimistic about the May concerts, which will mark the conclusion of its 2010 season.

To get back on more solid financial footing, the group is launching a “Save the Music” campaign. The orchestra is reaching out to its contacts in hopes of raising $20,000 by April 30.

Brase doesn’t know what will happen if that goal isn’t met, but said cancelling the May concerts hasn’t been discussed.

“Right now we’re just looking to keep our doors open,” he said.

Brase remains confident that as the economy picks up, so too will donations.

“We think it’s going to get better,” he said. “We’re very optimistic.”

Mary Ann Albright: maryann.albright@columbian.com, 360-735-4507.