2009 - 2010 was a rough season for orchestras around the country. Several closed their doors, many others were forced to made some serious cuts. Large organizations are not immune to the difficult economic climate: musicians in the Cleveland Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, Atlanta Symphony, and Philadelphia Orchestra among others have all taken salary cuts in the past few years. Ending the season in the red has become the norm for groups that are managing to stay open. The New York Philharmonic ended the 08 - 09 season with a deficit of 4.6 million dollars and was predicting a similar shortfall for this past season.
What about Knoxville? Well, Knoxville is a pretty extraordinary place (but you already knew that...).
The Knoxville Symphony Orchestra ended the 2009-2010 season IN THE BLACK!!!!!! That is an amazing achievement in itself, but it also marks the fourth consecutive season we've managed to end with a surplus!
So, how did this happen? The short answer is that it was possible with a little bit of luck and a lot of hard work. Everyone in the organization - management and musician alike - has worked their tail off to make this work. In particular, KSO Director of Development Judith Folz deserves a prize for the work she's done. Every time I see Judith she has a big smile on her face, which is amazing to me because her job has been incredibly difficult the past few years. Thank you, Judith!
We at the KSO also owe a thank you to you, the patrons of the orchestra. By coming to concerts and making donations however large or small, you have helped keep us in the black. We are your symphony, Knoxville.