Delaware Symphony hints at rebirth

A slimmed down Delaware Symphony Orchestra took the stage for the second time last week to proclaim that Mark Twain was right. “Reports of our death are greatly exaggerated,” music director David Amado said.

Sixty members of the DSO went to the Freeman Stage in Fenwick, Saturday, and told those gathered for the open air performance that the DuPont Corporation had put together the funding for a limited chamber music series in the Gold Ballroom of the Hotel du Pont. Conductor David Amado also told the crowd, “We will be making great music next year, count on it.”

But for the grant, the Saturday concert would have been the last piece of music performed by the orchestra for the next 12 months. In May, word went out the DSO had run out of money and was canceling its 2012-13 season. A reduced subscriber base and a bad economy are to blame for the orchestra’s money troubles. However, the board that runs the DSO has also been reorganized in the hopes of turning things around. The website for the DSO is back up complete with a link on its current financial state, a donor link, and a list of past performances.

Amado told NewsWorks the slimmed down orchestra season to come would be, “a little easier on the wallet and give our audience the opportunity to hear what we do.”

He added, “we’re working very hard to remain on the cultural sheet.” He said the potential loss of a season would be hard to take. He added all of Delaware’s cultural institutions feel the loss. “When one of those institutes goes down, variably others follow suit,” he said.

Amado said the case of the DSO is slightly different from that of the Philadelphia Orchestra. “We’re basically out of money,” he said. He did point out that like the Philadelphia Orchestra he feels the reborn orchestra will be better and stronger.

Several hundred people came out Saturday to the Freeman Stage. Organizers at Freeman, like the city of Wilmington on the 4th of July, paid for the DSO with private funds. Temperatures hit the low 100’s earlier in the day, so the concert was delayed by more than hour. On Wednesday, an orchestra member was treated for heat exhaustion in Wilmington. Amado reported he was released on Saturday and doing better.

Amado was in good humor joking with the audience as he worked through a program filled with selections from Bizet to John Philip Sousa. He said the orchestra could use any contributions the audience could offer. He joked that he could give them padded envelopes with his home address if they wanted to give cash.

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