This last weekend LMS symphony board member, artist Joseph Yakovetic, and I attended the Arts Tune Up event sponsored by the Los Angeles County Arts Commission. We hopped from table to table for 25 minute information periods listening to experts telling us how to promote and fund arts agencies. Representatives from two other regional symphonies were also there. As they spoke about their challenges, I came to appreciate the position of the La Mirada Symphony. We are very fortunate to have the base support of the City of La Mirada who provides the beautiful venue of the La Mirada Theatre to perform our concerts. One of the other symphony organizations (who shall remain nameless) is on “hiatus” because they have run out of funds and have no city council support. It’s doubtful they will find the $20,000 per performance it takes to keep their music playing. Another symphony gone.
The La Mirada Symphony has been offering free concerts to community for fifty years. Our audiences have been growing. We were filled to capacity for our last concert and some people sat and watched the monitors in the lobby. We’ve got a good thing going! But the symphony is fragile, depending on the continued support of literally hundreds of people. Each concert happens because the musicians commit to at least a month of rehearsals, the board organizes the music and facilities, the Guild provides volunteers and refreshments, and the theatre personnel mount the production. Individual donors contribute their dollars to fund it all.
The music will only keep playing only as long as there is the collective desire from the community to make it happen. Of course, my personal philosophy is that it should also be fun!
Next month we are ending our season on May 18th with the Art and Music Concert.
The featured music will be Pictures at an Exhibition by Mussorgsky/Ravel. In conjunction with that concert, we will be holding an art exhibit and reception to raise funds for the symphony.
I strongly encourage you to attend and plan to purchase some fine art. You will be supporting the symphony and local artists at the same time. We’ve invited a dozen artists, plus we’re planning some fun entertainment, a live auction, goodies and more! Mark your calendar now to join us.
Keep the music playing!