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MSO in good financial shape according to board president

December 05, 2011|By JULIE E. GREENE | julieg@herald-mail.com

The Maryland Symphony Orchestra's board president said recently that she doesn't foresee the symphony being in an emergency funding situation for next year's Salute to Independence concert the way it was with this past summer's concert.

"We're in good financial shape, but we always have a challenge with the Salute to Independence" concert at Antietam National Battlefield, Board President Doris "Dori" J. Nipps said.

Last year, symphony officials weren't aware they were going to lose some sponsors until around March, Nipps said. This year, MSO officials know the financial gap they need to make up for the concert and already have met with potential new corporate sponsors, she said.

Nipps said she's hopeful all of the sponsorships will be nailed down by February so MSO officials can tell the community that funding won't be an issue.

"As far as we are concerned, as a board, we will find that money to have that concert. It is going to happen," Nipps said.

As the symphony's largest expense, the annual Salute to Independence costs almost $250,000 to produce, Nipps said.

Last spring, MSO officials made a plea to the community for donations in order to have the July 2, 2011, concert.

Every dollar counts, even donations of $5 or $10, said Nipps, hoping the public will continue to contribute for next year's concert. The next Salute to Independence is scheduled for July 7, 2012.

The symphony is allowed to withdraw a certain amount each year from its estimated $2 million endowment, which helps fund operations, Nipps said.

Despite donations being down, the symphony still is putting on five Masterworks concert weekends and added a second Pops concert this season, Nipps said.

The symphony's annual holiday concert is the biggest seller, she said. This year's holiday concerts will be Dec. 17 and 18, according to the symphony's website.

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