January 31, 2013

The RPO Exceeds Goals, Optimistic About Future

We wanted to share the following essay by Elizabeth Rice and Charles Owens, published in the Democrat and Chronicle on January 27, 2013.

The RPO Exceeds Goals, Optimistic About Future

By Elizabeth Rice, Board Chair
Charles Owens, President and CEO

The core purpose of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra is to inspire, educate, and engage our community through the art of music, and central to achieving that purpose is the dedicated work of our most valued asset, the musicians. We are proud to report that, despite the turmoil of the past several months, the musicians and our RPO staff have stayed the course and maintained their focus on meeting—even exceeding—the goals that are central to the core purpose. We are confident that the future of the RPO is a bright one as we strive to bring joy and beauty, solace and spirited entertainment into the lives of thousands of concertgoers in the Rochester region every year.

There are a number of factors that support our confidence. First, and most important, the RPO and the orchestra’s musicians have agreed on a new, four-year, agreement. To their great credit, the musicians have agreed to make significant sacrifices in the first two years of the contract. We thank them for that support, which will permit the RPO to address our financial challenges successfully. While we experienced a substantial deficit in 2011–2012, we are planning for a balanced budget in fiscal 2012–2013.

Thanks to the support of our subscribers, donors, and single-ticket buyers, more than 180,000 people experienced the RPO in concert last season. That includes nearly 14,000 young people who attended our education concerts in Eastman Theatre at Kodak Hall, offered at low cost to young people from throughout the area. For our 14 holiday concerts, single-ticket revenue ranged from 101% to 116% of goal, producing revenue just under $590,000. Over 27,000 enthusiastic patrons enjoyed those performances.

Also, we are encouraged that the RPO’s annual campaign for the 2012–2013 fiscal year already stands at $1.6 million as of January 11—over $201,000 ahead of the 2011–2012 campaign at the same time last year. Yet another reason for optimism.

We are proud and excited by this week’s announcement that an RPO concert will be a part of the 2014 Spring for Music Festival at Carnegie Hall in New York City. The program will showcase both the RPO and the Eastman School of Music, making a bold statement for music in the Rochester area. Funding for that performance is secure.

Additionally, we have appointed a search committee to seek a new music director for RPO, and the work of that committee has begun.

In short, we have good reason to be optimistic about our future. We hope you will continue to support the dedicated and talented musicians in our orchestra.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is all very good news, however I am always struck that usually just after the musicians contract has been signed there is an abundance of great financial news. When the contract is being signed or management decides to open the contract the management often sings a very different tune.