After 41 years of performances, the Macon Symphony Orchestra has announced it will close its doors this October. Bob Veto, president of the symphony’s board, said the decision came after a decline in ticket sales and donations.
“We had a slow response to season ticket requests [and] we have had more and more local philanthropists and corporations saying that there's just too much competition for giving to the arts in Macon,” Veto said.
In a letter to patrons, Veto announced that three out of four performances scheduled for later this year have been canceled. The MSO has chosen to hold one final concert Oct. 14.
“We really want to go out with our head held high,” Veto said.
David Keith is Dean of the Townsend School of Music at Mercer University where classical music is taught. He says their concert schedule will help fill the gap for Macon residents.
“Through the McDuffie Center for Strings and the Fabian Concert Series, it’s not like there will be a void [with] no string music or orchestral music,” Keith said.
Still, Veto said he’s sad to see The MSO go away.
“This is a tragedy for the city of Macon and for the arts community in Macon,” Veto said.
The MSO is offering refunds for season ticket holders who want them but Veto asked that patrons consider donating their funds instead.
“We would greatly appreciate your consideration of offering your funds toward the expenses of our final concert in October,” Veto wrote in his letter to patrons. “We would like to go out with a bang, and make this final concert one to remember.”
Elizabeth Tammi contributed to this report.