I have been missing in action lately. No blogs in a couple of weeks. Its not like I didn't have anything to say. But I have been very, very busy.
About a month and a half ago, our orchestra, the Southwest Florida Symphony reached a crisis point. There are many boring factors at play, but let it be said that, it's health required my immediate and undivided attention. In response to a cash flow problem, I started two fund raising projects. You can visit one at:
GoFundMe just delivered about half of the monies generated so far. In about 6 weeks, the site has attracted over 100 donors who have given in excess of $20K. The goal of $30K in honor of my 30 years of service to the SWFSO is in easy reach, but the pace of donating has slowed significantly. Take a look at the page and consider giving. As one donor, when asked why she gave, put it, "Because the music should never die."
The other was a chamber ensemble concert on 6/26/2013. Thirteen musicians from the SWFSO donated their talent, time and energy to produce an invitation only event for potential donors. We performed short works or single movements from larger pieces to an audience of about 35 people. They were also wined and dined by our board members. The performance itself was informal. There was some banter between the audience and musicians. As one instrumentalist said, the "moat" between us was missing.
Our Interim Artistic Advisor, Maestro Leif Bjaland attended. He rerouted his return trip from Venezuela to Fort Myers in order that he could stand with us. Leif had been working with "El Systema". He spoke eloquently about his affection for our organization, musicians, board and staff members as well as his love for music.
Our fundraising concert brought in $28K almost immediately, with the promise of much more funds to come. I am proud of my involvement in these two events. Certainly the financial situation for the SWFSO has been substantially alleviated. But the most important outcome is that the orchestra has reconnected to its audience and donor base, the musicians, staff and board are working as a unit, and we gained some necessary public relationships.
Good things are happening.