Sympathy for the Symphony

THE Northern Rivers Symphony Orchestra has been thrown a lifeline after the community rallied to support last-ditch efforts to raise much-needed funds for survival.

The orchestra was thrown into uncertainty after a dishonoured performance payment of $18,650 wiped out its funds late last year, for- cing it to cancel its final performance for 2008 and throwing the 2009 program into doubt.

Conductor Barry Singh said they had taken a 61-piece orchestra to a performance at Byron Bay, including some players from the Queensland Orchestra.

“We never imagined this could happen, it never has before and we had a signed contract,” he said.

“But when it did we still had to pay everybody which meant our $20,000 buffer was depleted and our future looked uncertain.”

Mr Singh said while they were devastated, the orchestra members had all donated their time to perform in a fundraising concert 'Save the Orchestra Variety Concert' to be held at Seagulls next Sunday, February 15.

“Everything was riding on this one concert. It really was make or break for us,” he said.

“But now we're saved because the concert has completely sold out, thanks to the overwhelming support of the community.

“There has been 1400 tickets sold and it will be our biggest indoor audience ever.”

Mr Singh said they were absolutely thrilled to be playing to a large audience, and because of the huge demand for tickets they had also scheduled a second concert which will be held at Seagulls on March 1, 3pm.

“The concert programs will include something for everyone's taste from Beethoven, Brahms, Mozart and Strauss to opera and Broadway,” he said.

Tickets for the second show are $40 adults, $35 concession and $22 secondary students. Primary students free. Call (07) 5587 9033 to book.

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