How can anyone guarantee consistent quality with a per-service arrangement? What about the perdiem costs for those who come from other towns?
Unless you have a substantial "core" - preferably 32 to 35 (6,6,4,4,2 + winds and brass) you're just a band a freelancers. The results would be highly inconsistent and the quality suspect from concert to concert. An orchestra is a team - not a pick-up ensemble! And you cannot fool the audience forever. A well run orchestra and a supportive board can make it happen the right way -- as long as not every concert has some bombastic romantic program that will require 60 to 70 or more musicians every time. That's a recepie for disaster. Where is Haydn? Handel? And just one little Beethoven work? I understand you have six xnadidates and they feel they must prove themselves. A late Haydn Symphony is no less challenging than Sibelius or Thaikovsky - and if you don't agree, you missed the classical period training periods.
And the so called chamber orchestra series has too many non-chamber works that will baloon the size of the ensemble well beyond the "chamber" genre and brake the bank. St. Luke's, Orpheus, English Chamber Orchestra, St. Paul, etc. can do that. Not the Charleston Symphony. After next season you'll again have severy financial issues. You need a more realistic, pragmatic mix. A sense of proportion and less ego. You need 'quality' more than "quantity" -- bigger is not always better. Certainly not six times in a row with a severly curtailed theatre capacity and an expensive, heavy chamber series loaded with romantic works again, performed only once and in a smaller hall yet! Has anyone hear of trios, quartets, quintets, sextets, septets and octets, for instance? The Mendelssohn violin concerto is not chamber and neither is the Fingal's Cave Overture. Who's doing all this overly ambitious programming for an orchestra that not so long ago was in a coma? Never mind. I know the answer and you're all in trouble!
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