After several years of operating through extremely challenging economic times, Delaware Symphony Orchestra (DSO) cannot financially sustain programming and cannot go forward with the 2012-13 season as originally programmed.
“It is a regrettable financial situation that mirrors what many of the nation’s other orchestras and cultural institutions have experienced over the past few years,” said Ann Hamilton, chair of the board. “But DSO is determined to move forward. Our immediate goal is to conduct a three-month operational analysis in pursuit of a new business model designed to help the organization achieve financial stability.”
According to Mrs. Hamilton, the completion of the past season would not have been possible without the generosity of several contributors, particularly the generosity of Gerret and Tatiana Copeland, who, in addition to their gift, supported a matching Board challenge grant, which was successfully completed in May.
To begin its analysis, DSO has assembled a project team comprising of Board members having leadership responsibilities in development, marketing, finance, and operations. “Also included are Lee Williamson, DSO’s executive director, who brings a wealth of experience in nonprofit organizational management, and Maestro David Amado, whose inspiration and knowledge will be invaluable to our effort,” said Mrs. Hamilton. Rounding out the team are advisors with expertise in finance and law as well as other participants who may be brought in for consultation, as appropriate.
DSO must raise funds to support the assessment effort, the results of which will be used to help the team, board and staff, pursue the development of a financially viable operational model. The next step will be to test the model through a newly created 2012-13 performance season. DSO will be integrating a fundraising effort essential to bringing the new season’s program to the stage.
To help expedite the assessment initiative, DSO has proceeded with the election and installation of a new set of Board officers to provide fresh leadership and perspective. The new officers are Ann Hamilton, chair, Betty Duncan, vice chair, Robert Mack, treasurer and Mary-Jo Anderson, secretary.
“We will keep everyone involved with DSO apprised of our progress every step of the way,” said Mrs. Hamilton. “We ask that our donors, patrons, subscribers, the Grand, our exceptional orchestra, devoted staff, and committed Board remain engaged with us as we work to secure our financial health and carry out or mission to enrich the enjoyment of classical music through the experience of live performance in Delaware.”