The canceled concerts are the ensemble's October 9 program, inspired by Leonardo da Vinci and including works by Eric Whitacre, Dominick Argento, Samuel Barber, and Aaron Copland; and the March 19 concert featuring of Handel's Israel in Egypt. The schedule still includes Beethoven's Missa solemnis on May 14 and the ensemble's Christmas concerts on December 17 and 18.
The cancellation was based on the inadequate subscriber response to the season announcement, and ongoing financial troubles, including a $40,000 deficit.
Rebecca Bolden, the ensemble's executive director, said that the decision to cancel the concerts was "fiscally responsible," although "painful."
She added, "This is the first time [in the Philadelphia Singers' 33 seasons] we've had to do this. We're going to step back and assess what our place is artistically and determine how we can grow financially."
Support for the ensemble from donors, foundations, and subscribers has declined over the last five years, according to the Inquirer. The Philadelphia Singers has been a resident performer with the Philadelphia Orchestra since 2001, an arrangement that is certainly prestigious but might, Bolden speculated, be drawing support away from the ensemble's independent concerts.
Ticket holders for the canceled concerts may request a refund, exchange the tickets for other performances, or donate the cost of the tickets to the Philadelphia Singers.