Mesa (Arizona) Symphony Cancels Concerts After Losing Funding

Classic Arts News   Mesa (Arizona) Symphony Cancels Concerts After Losing Funding
Arizona's Mesa Symphony has canceled four scheduled concerts after its annual funding request was turned down by the Mesa City Council, the orchestra confirmed.

According to the orchestra, the $50,000 grant request was turned down after voters rejected a property tax initiative that would have provided funding.

The MSO has canceled a pops concert on July 1 and its entire chamber series, including concerts on November 18, January 3, and February 17.

The orchestra has launched a campaign to raise $50,000 in replacement funds over the next 50 days, asking patrons to contribute in honor of its 50th anniversary. The suggested donation is $200 — the amount that the tax initiative would have cost the average property owner.

The part-time professional orchestra, located in a suburb east of Phoenix, has struggled financially in recent years. Last spring, conductor Gordon Johnson resigned because the orchestra could not afford to pay him. But this year the ensemble recovered enough to hire Cal Stewart Kellogg, the former principal conductor of Arizona Opera, as music director.

The group is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.

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