According to the Arizona Republic, the orchestra, based in a suburb southwest of Phoenix, has been performing as the San Marcos Symphony since its founding in 1991 because Irving Fleming, the longtime conductor of the nearby Scottsdale Symphony, owned the "Chandler Symphony" trade name and refused to relinquish it.
Recently, San Marcos Symphony president—and violinist—Laura Russ discovered through the web site of the Arizona Secretary of State that Fleming had let his claim lapse. The Chandler-based orchestra hurriedly registered the name for itself.
Fleming told the Republic that he registered the name in 1989, when his orchestra began playing at the newly Chandler Center for the Arts. Two years later, Jack Herriman created a new orchestra in Chandler composed of former Mesa Community College musicians, and "everybody started screaming and hollering and yelling" because Fleming's group performed at the Chandler Center. Fleming withdrew from the center, ceding it to the new group, but took the name with him.
Herriman disputed that account, saying that Fleming had registered the name, and held on to it, because he wanted Herriman's job.
With its new name in hand, the Chandler Symphony expects to have more success raising money, Russ said. The city of Chandler has already voted to give the group $42,000, according to the paper.