Fortunate to have InConcert Sierra |

Fortunate to have InConcert Sierra

Once a tuba player in college and semi-professional orchestras, I’m always hungry to hear the rich inner voices I learned to love in symphonic music. Here’s good news: we can all hear them at the Sept. 21 fundraiser concert by InConcert Sierra’s excellent Orchestra!

Maestro Ken Hardin has designed an interesting program spanning diverse musical styles and periods from the late 17th century right up to our time.

We are indeed fortunate to have this wonderful ensemble enrich the cultural life in our small communities. Many large cities struggle to field an orchestra in an environment of retrenchment by classical music’s traditional supporters. Several symphonies — including the venerable Philadelphia Orchestra — went into bankruptcy to survive. Some, such as the San Jose Symphony, never came out.

Others redefined themselves to better match audience preferences and the demands of the economy. It is harsh reality that no professional orchestra can cover its costs through ticket sales alone … and the trend is negative. On average, sales met 48 percent of American orchestras’ expenses in 1987 but only 37 percent in 2005. The figure for the Memphis Symphony Orchestra this February was 30 percent.

That’s the state of the nation, but again, the good news: InConcert Sierra is again presenting an orchestral concert, an event several times more expensive to produce than its typical chamber concert. Thanks to careful cost control, ticket sales at bargain prices cover an above-average 35 percent of InConcert Sierra expenses. Clearly, donations and sponsorships remain essential to close the gap. These figures show that supporters’ gifts will be applied efficiently to meet that need.

My lifelong love of orchestral music and my former life as a tuba player converge on this concert; I am sponsoring the orchestra’s fantastic tuba player, Julian Dixon. It is my privilege to do so.

Frederick Hall

Grass Valley

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