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Macon Symphony to play its swan song and close in October

Conductor Janna Hymes leads the Macon Symphony Orchestra last month before their season opening performance. The symphony is closing in October.
Conductor Janna Hymes leads the Macon Symphony Orchestra last month before their season opening performance. The symphony is closing in October. Georgia Public Broadcasting

The Macon Symphony Orchestra is shutting down after its last concert Oct. 14.

Symphony board chairman Bob Veto sent a letter to patrons and supporters on Tuesday.

“After careful review of the budget projections for the upcoming season, we have found that to attempt to stage all four planned concerts might end up with the MSO leaving many financial commitments unmet,” Veto said in the letter.

He cited declining ticket sales and increasing production costs for ending the symphony’s 41-year run.

The board has grappled with the decision since April, when it became clear the orchestra might not survive.

Anyone who has paid for tickets to future concerts is asked to donate those funds toward expenses for the final concert in October.

“We would like to go out with a bang and make this final concert one to remember,” Veto stated in a release.

Tax receipts will be sent for charitable donations in lieu of a refund for those wishing to fund the orchestra’s swan song in the fall.

“We encourage everyone to support live music in Macon such as the Mercer Symphony concerts and the Macon Pops,” Veto said.

The Macon Symphony Orchestra, which dates at least in name to the late 1920s, had a revival in the late 1970s.

Across the country, the years since the recession have been tumultuous for orchestras, according to The New York Times. Since 2010, labor battles led to at least 14 work stoppages, and a handful of orchestras, including those in Louisville, Ky. Honolulu; and Philadelphia, filed for bankruptcy.

Liz Fabian: 478-744-4303, @liz_lines

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