"If you're missing any of those pieces, it's going to be rough," he said. "Most of our member orchestras do indeed have all five of those pieces in place."
Of approximately 350 professional orchestras in the United States, eight have closed in the last two years, McAuliffe said. They include orchestras in San Jose, Calif.; Savannah, Ga.; Louisville, Ky.; and the Florida Philharmonic, he said. On June 12, the San Antonio, Texas, orchestra announced it was filing for bankruptcy, he said.
There is hope, McAuliffe said.
Eight orchestras went out of business about 10 years ago during the previous recession, he said.
"In every one of those eight cities is now an orchestra in place, often with the same musicians," McAuliffe said. "At least, historically, communities and their musicians just don't let their orchestras die."
The Millbrook Chamber Orchestra that performed in Shepherdstown, W.Va., disbanded in June 2001.
Guy Frank, one of the founding members of Millbrook, said he wasn't aware of any effort to revive the orchestra. Frank estimated it would take $200,000 in seed money to make that possible.