Community Orchestra Funding Requirements
Community orchestras are invariably formed by a group of musicians who band together to make music as an avocation. Making music at a high level requires highly developed skills achieved through long hours of practice and those who do it well want to focus on musical issues above all else. However all orchestras require a strong management team and sufficient funding to function. Space, music, musicians, fees, insurance, transportation, and even management itself must be paid for.
Community orchestras like CCO are limited in potential growth by the limited area that they serve and by the vision of their founders which includes presenting playing opportunities to musicians whose life choices (i.e. careers) do not allow them to make music on a full-time basis. Therefore serving the members' musical interests is given a priority along with that of serving the artistic interests of the community. Nevertheless if the orchestra is to succeed (i.e. survive) it must satisfy its audience and those making donations on their behalf. It is the audience therefore which holds the ultimate power over the orchestra's destiny and dictates its success or failure.
Community members should bear in mind that they are ultimately solely responsible for the state of their orchestra. The ability of the orchestra to fill out a performance with special instruments required by a work or present quality guest artists depends on the orchestra's available funds. If the community fails to support the orchestra by attending concerts and making donations, those necessary funds will not be available. A continual lack of funding will ultimately lead to the failure of any orchestra whether or not it is composed largely of volunteer musicians.
The Bottom Line