Sacramento-area community orchestras going strong despite recession

Posted on: August 30, 2010

In Sunday’s (8/29) Sacramento Bee, Edward Ortiz writes, “The community orchestra is the hyperlocal world of the amateur musician. Almost every city has one, and the Sacramento region boasts three: the Camellia, Auburn and Folsom Lake symphonies. … While professional orchestras have taken a hit because of the economic downtown, there has been no exodus of community orchestras from the concert scene. These volunteer orchestras get by on shoestring budgets, low ticket prices and the allegiance of their unpaid musicians as well as the geographic loyalty of their small audiences. … ‘I don’t think that a community orchestra is dispensable. As a matter of fact I think it comes first,’ said Allan Pollack, music director of the 85-member Camellia Symphony. The orchestra will begin its 48th year this fall, making it the oldest community orchestra in the region. … ‘These orchestras serve an essential purpose,’ said Jesse Rosen, president and CEO of the League of American Orchestras. ‘They’re a primary point of access for classical and orchestral music.’ Rosen said that the local nature of such orchestras and the lower prices for concert tickets are two of the biggest draws for community orchestras. … Of the 950 [orchestras] in the League’s roster, 330 are community orchestras, a number that has stayed steady over the past 10 years.”

Posted August 30, 2010