Friends of the Albany Symphony Orchestra,
As the incoming Board President of the Albany Symphony for the 2020-21 season, I want to take a few moments to update you on how we have been managing through the current health crisis and our planning for next season.
First, please join me in thanking our Executive Director Joëlle Leigh Fryman, Administrative Assistant LeeAnna Anglin, and the Board of Directors including outgoing Board President Dawn Benson. Along with Musical Director Claire Fox Hillard, they have guided the Symphony through the past few months by adjusting schedules, maintaining operations, and ensuring we are ready to continue our mission of enriching the quality of life in southwest Georgia as the Albany community returns to normalcy after the COVID-19 pandemic subsides.
Second, I want to update you on the actions we have taken to maintain operations. Out of concern for your health and that of our musicians, we canceled our Beethoven’s 250th Birthday concert in April and Symphony Sunday in May. Lost sales for those events and postponing the subscription drive for next season have led us to seek relief from the Payroll Protection Program and the Georgia Council for the Arts through a Resiliency Grant under the CARES Act. We expect that funding to help cover expenses until we can take the stage again.
Finally, I would like to share some of our plans for the upcoming 2020-21 season. We understand that despite the improving health situation in Albany, it may be a while until we are able to gather to enjoy a symphony concert. We have therefore decided to delay the official start of our next season until we know it is healthy and safe to do so. We hope this will be in time for our annual Peppermint Pops holiday concert. Until then, we will be looking to present performances in outdoor venues and with smaller ensembles to allow our audience and musicians to maintain appropriate social distance.
We have some incredible plans for next season and we remain hopeful that we will be able to present as many of those performances as we can, albeit with a later start than originally anticipated. Please keep an eye on our social media and website for updates as they come available.
I thank you for your continued support of the Albany Symphony Orchestra. We wish you and your loved ones health, safety, and peace as we work through these challenging times.
M. Matthew Phelps
2020-2021 Board President