Olympia Symphony thrives in difficult times

Posted on: November 7, 2012

A report Saturday (11/3) in the Olympian (Washington) states, “The recession has not been kind to the performing arts. … Against that backdrop of artistic struggle, the resiliency of the Olympia Symphony Orchestra over its 60-year history appears remarkable. It has sold out several recent concerts, including its anniversary celebration performance of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony in mid-October, which left many patrons raving about the high quality of a mostly amateur and local orchestra. It would be a mistake, however, to paint too rosy of a picture. The Olympia Symphony has also struggled financially from time to time over the six decades since it was officially incorporated on Oct. 23, 1952. Its fortunes have swung mildly on the periodic shifts in popularity of classical music, and the impact of several recessions on ticket sales. Yet, through the many economic cycles since World War II, the local orchestra has survived. … Audiences have been noticing the Olympia orchestra’s improvement. … [Music Director Huw] Edwards’ ability to recruit and train the orchestra’s musicians has played a critical role in that transformation. … The symphony’s board of directors has also learned from the orchestral fatalities in other cities that it cannot survive in an insular environment. It has been reaching out to other local performing arts groups to create exciting performances and to expand its audience base.”

Posted November 7, 2012