April 5, 2011

Elusively Crazy!

Elusively Crazy, the Muncie Symphony Orchestra season finale, is elusive. Well, you won't see it all this season.  The April 30th concert has been cancelled. I know, it is very disappointing.  Disappointing for the audience, for the musicians, for the MSO- everyone the MSO touches.  We just don't have the funds to pay for the concert.   Here is why.

Did you know each concert can cost as much as $35,000?  Where does the money go?

  • Rental of venue -Emens Auditorium and the staff
  • Shuttle from the parking lot to Emens
  • Rental of music - MSO does not own most of the music we play.  Purchasing music is more expensive than renting.  Occasionally a piece can be borrowed from a nearby orchestra, and that helps with the cost of music.  MSO lends music as well.  
  • Fees for the Artistic Director, Guest Artist(s), musicians,                                                                                         ~ Personnel Manager  - she hires the musicians for each concert, and                                   ~ Music Librarian - he is responsible for finding the music, sending it out before the concert so the bowings can be marked-so all the string players play the piece in the same way, getting the music to the musicians so they know the music when the rehearsals start, collecting the music and returning to the owner.
  • Concert advertising
  • Office and staff support
  • Printing fees for the program book, inserts, tickets
  • Online presence: Muncie Symphony Orchestra website, MSO Blog, MSO facebook 
Multiply this by 5 regular season concerts, Young Peoples Concert, two Rattanovy concerts, Festival on the Green, Picnic & Pops concert, and as many as 50 programs for schools and underserved and at risk audiences with Music on the Move and a program at the Muncie Children's Museum.  

Where the money goes is only half of the story.  Funding is critical to the success of the Muncie Symphony Orchestra. As any organization, MSO lives on a budget planned months ahead of the fiscal year. MSO applies for grants from organizations such as the Indiana Arts Commission. The IAC funding covers about 3% of the budget.  Season ticket sales and admissions another 23%.  Contributions from corporations and sponsorships about 29%, folks like you about 22%, Foundation grants roughly 5%, and income from endowments, interest tops out at 13% and other income from touring, Rattanovy series,  and other events is just under 6%.  Planning for concerts, guest artists, events and educational programs depends upon meeting the funding projections.  Projections that are based on historical data. Most of the time it works well. This year, however, funding did not meet the projections, which resulted in canceling Elusively Crazy. 

We know the economy has been rough for a few years, and conditions within the community are challenging.  We hope this will improve soon.  You can help in several ways.  The MSO is offering to refund ticket holders for the April 30th concert.  If you desire a refund, please call the MSO office by April 30.  Should you prefer to donate the cost of the tickets, we would appreciate it greatly.  Please let us know so that we may provide you with a non-profit tax donation letter.  The MSO depends upon individual contributions from people like you.  Does that sound like a PBS public service announcement?  It's true that many non-profits need funding.  We truly hope that the services we provide for you and the community are valuable and contribute to the quality of life you enjoy and desire.  If so, please consider making a contribution to the MSO.  We accept cash, checks, and credit cards.  To contribute, you may 
  • Call the office at 765-285-5531 
  • Mail or bring your contribution to Muncie Symphony Orchestra c/o Ball State University, 2000 University Blvd, AC-112, Muncie, Indiana, 37406
Thank you for your support and understanding. Next MSO concerts are the Young Peoples Concert on April 19th, and Festival on the Green on June 11th.  Both of these concerts are provided without cost to the audience. Call the office for more information. We hope to see you there.