After attending CSO concerts for the past many years and seeing Maestro David Stahl build the orchestra to an artistic quality rivaling the greatest ensembles, last season with its shrunken core was a huge disappointment. I'm thrilled the whole orchestra will be back this season - under new management!
Musicluver21, while it would be great to have community members send in large donations now, why wasn’t the CSO making day and night phone calls during the months the CSO was shut down? Why wasn’t there a massive fundraising push in the weeks and months preceding the shutdown in order to avoid what should have been an absolute last resort? Why did the shutdown appear to come out of the blue and surprise the entire community? Was the CSO trying to cover its fiscal ineptitude? Was it throwing a temper tantrum that, like every other nonprofit, it actually needed to adequately and professionally fundraise? It doesn’t appear, from this article at least, that the CSO has learned from the mis-steps of the past or is focused on moving beyond its present mediocrity.
Any successful arts administrator will recognize that quality of the product is central to an organization’s survival. Donors contribute to organizations which inspire them through activity in their communities and constantly striving to retain and improve quality. Disturbingly, it seems that Mr. Beckley does not recognize this fact when he states that rebuilding the quality via necessary minimal core isn’t even a current goal. While the players are compensated less than they would like, that is an odd premise for future fundraising and likely one that would have minimal success at resonance in the community. The affluent Charleston audience members won’t continue to battle traffic snarl and congested parking to drive downtown from their island homes to hear even well paid musicians perform raggedly. There are certainly many worthy causes in the Charleston community and we can only hope the CSO can convince donors that it is dedicated to once again providing top quality musical performances to the community.
Citadel57, unfortunately I have to agree with you. Having attended the concert on 1/14 I heard the same thing. I also attended the community forum discussions mentioned in the article and there were alot of really good ideas brought up - and ignored. I didn't hear anyone calling for such a plan which would degrade the quality of the orchestra, built up so masterfully over twenty-seven years by Maestro Stahl.
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