The decision to disband is the result of declining audiences and shrinking private and foundation support. The group, which has been together for 20 seasons, has been unable to raise the necessary money for another season.
Hilel Kagan, the ensemble's artistic director, said, "In order to have a 2006 season, we would need at least $160,000. Where do we get it? The money is not in the bank, and nobody has given us that amount. We can raise perhaps $20,000 from loyal friends of the orchestra. But it's not enough."
One of the fundraising problems Kagan identified was that grants are more likely to be given to small arts organizations for specific projects, rather than general operating expenses, and that such projects come with stipulations that require additional fundraising.
"Do I want to disband the orchestra?" Kagain said. "No way. In my heart, do I want to continue? Absolutely. But I'm not terribly optimistic about the future of smaller arts organizations, given the present situation."