Symphony looks to keep youth program alive

Finale coming for Green Bay Symphony Orchestra
Finale coming for Green Bay Symphony Orchestra

GREEN BAY-The Green Bay Symphony Orchestra faces its final curtain next spring. But the group hopes to keep the music playing for younger musicians.

“Since 1967, the green bay symphony orchestra has operated a youth orchestra program. It's a very, very successful program. We have about 200 students that participate every year, from ages 8 to 21,” said Executive Director Dan Linssen.

Linssen says the professional group has to finish in the black financially to make it happen.

“To the extent that we can meet those obligations and have any kind of surplus left over, we will use that surplus as seed money to launch the youth symphony in its independent ventures,” said Linssen.

One way to raise the cash: sell off some of the professional group's assets. When you're a symphony, that means sheet music and percussion instruments.

“Ideally, we'd like someone who could take the entire library and move it intact,” Linssen said of the sheet music collection.

“When it comes to percussion we have big instruments like marimbas and xylophones and bass drums,” he said.

Linssen said he's already had takers for some of the instruments and the orchestra's assortment of music stands.

However, Linssen says the group will need volunteers: People with legal, accounting, fund raising and organizing experience.

"We want to form and advisory board of eight or so members,” said Linssen.

Linssen says he and the youth group directors will work throughout the next year to keep the songs of future generations alive, long after the other group's finale.

Symphony leaders say they'll have to find more professional musicians to coach the youth symphony because typically the coaches have been part of the professional orchestra.