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Columbus Symphony Prepares for Future

Columbus Symphony officials revealed a new partnership at a City Council hearing that it hopes will bring a better way to attract concert goers and symphony fans and keep the orchestra vibrant.

The sounds of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra may be more accessible to a diverse audience with the use of new media. The struggling orchestra is operating under a budget that is two million dollars less than a few years ago. Its season is down to 25 weeks instead of 38. Musicians are getting less pay. Part of the blame is a down economy, but Columbus Symphony President, Roland Valliere told City Council Member Priscilla Tyson at a hearing on the arts he sees better days ahead. Valliere says the symphony is working out a partnership with CAPA the Columbus Association for the Performing Arts.

"We're convinced that orchestras everywhere need to move to a new or different business model," Valliere said.

Valliere says the symphony needs to change with technology.

"What we're about is connecting the music to people. That is the raison d'etre of the Columbus Symphony. That's why we and every symphony orchestra exist. So we want to rally and mobilize our resources in a way that allows us to deliver great symphonic music inside and outside of the concert hall," said Valliere.

Using new technology to get classical sounds to an audience is the future according to CAPA President, Bill Conner.

"A new business model one that's more nimble, that is certainly unafraid of allowing its music to get outside the concert hall, for people to pick it up on their i-pod or streaming or in a concert hall maybe in Portsmouth, Ohio. That's a whole different model and that's the way the partnership can work together," Conner said.

Conner adds CAPA can handle many marketing and administrative duties for the symphony as they work together to help support musical arts in Columbus.

Debbie Holmes has worked at WOSU News since 2009. She has hosted All Things Considered, since May 2021. Prior to that she was the host of Morning Edition and a reporter.