This year, the Symphony celebrates its 40th year and needs money. In the past, the City of Durham contributed $30,000 but this ended when the recession started in 2007. (The County of Durham continues to help fund the Symphony). We think it is time for the City to consider including the Symphony in its budget. But we all know that once money is taken away, it is difficult to get back.
Yet the Symphony has dramatically increased its outreach since 2007, in spite of decreased funding. During this past season, the group gave four free concerts.
Durham has a world class symphony. Accessible, friendly, educational. The group is involved in out-reach to area schools, and has a regular season with guest artists like John Brown's Little Big Band, Al Strong, and Brian Miller. Tonight there was a free performance at the Museum of Durham History and earlier this month there was one at Trinity Park. Always, the Symphony brings great music and jazz to our ears.
Many of the musicians are volunteers. The calibre of the symphony and its conductor are stellar. Maestro John Curry is a graduate of Oberlin and received the Leo Stokowski Award for Conducting in 1988. Durham is lucky indeed to have a symphony of such magnificance.
There are several "value added" aspects to attending a concert with the Durham Symphony. For example, eloquent overviews are given by Maestro Curry at the beginning of each piece. These are reminiscent of Leonard Bernstein's "Young People's Concerts," in which he so masterfully engaged the audience.
Then there is the opportunity to meet the musicians after the concert or even chat with the Maestro himself. Many agree that these qualities make the Durham Symphony truly memorable and impact lives. Young listeners, especially, may be inspired to play an instrument that they hear.
Finally, going to hear the Symphony is a chance to make new friendships and to establish a tradition in the family of listening to great live music.
Durham, this is YOUR symphony. We hope that the City of Durham will consider including the symphony its budget. and that the people will consider making a donation of support. Contributions can be sent to Durham Symphony, P. O. Box 1993, Durham, NC 27702. Thank you.
Dana Stone, Durham