GREEN BAY – The Green Bay Symphony Orchestra is preparing for its final season. The announcement comes just after GBSO celebrated making music for 100 years. But the cost to keep it going is proving to be too much.
“It’s not an indication Green Bay is not supportive of the arts, it’s simply this particular style of art is not in favor,” said Green Bay Symphony Orchestra executive director Dan Linssen.
Linssen calls the decision to silence the symphony very disappointing. Linssen says this year will be the orchestra’s final season with dwindling donations, and patrons of the arts not turning out like they once did.
“This is a trend that’s been going on over quite some time. Over the last ten years we’ve seen attendance in our audiences on a steady decline,” said Linssen.
The orchestra got its start in 1913 offering high quality, professional performances.
Back in 2003 FOX 11 featured the Green Bay Symphony Orchestra as it prepared for its 90th season. Even then funding was a concern.
“We’ve got to raise funds for this year, we’ve got to raise funds for the year that follows and we’ve got some plans for long term development as well,” said Joseph Ferlo, GBSO executive director at the time.
Last year it celebrated 100 years. But even as it hit the milestone, the financial reality of putting on such a cultured event was showing signs of trouble.
“It costs us about $50,000 to produce a classics concert. If you have 500 or 600 people show up, you can do the numbers it’s not going to pay for it,” said Linssen.
The symphony’s music director is stepping down to take another job, but the show will go on. The final season will include at least four performances–with the possibility of a fifth if funding holds out.
The first concert of the final season will be a Star Spangled Celebration taking place September 13.