I just wanted to invite you all to a concert I’m playing in next Sunday at the West Valley Art Museum. I played a solo program there several years ago. It’s a great little museum. In the spring of 2006, 3 groups that I worked for went out of business:
- The Mt. Shasta (California) Concert Association. I went up in November to play a solo performance on their concert series. They were a regional organization that put on a few concerts a year and brought the artists to local schools. They ran out of money and volunteers.
- The West Valley Symphony, which was in business for at least 25 years. When I first moved here in 1989 it was a volunteer community orchestra that brought in ringers to help out. (I was a ringer.) For the past several years everybody got paid, and it was growing in to a pretty good orchestra. They lost their venue, the Sun Dome, a year or two ago and that was the breaking point.
- Scottsdale Community College Summer Music Camp, which had been around since the late 70’s. I worked there as bass instructor for maybe 15 years. It was the most wonderful 3-week day camp, where I met the most amazing kids. We made those kids (4th to 9th grade) play their instruments for 2-3 hours a day, worked them half to death, but they loved every minute of it. I believe the rising costs of liability insurance and a lack of interest from the new college administration caused the demise of this awesome experience for young musicians.
I guess I got off on a tangent there… It gets kind of discouraging when stuff like this happens, and I feel guilty that I haven’t been a better arts advocate. It hurts my wallet, but in the end it hurts all of us when we have fewer places to listen or to participate in the arts.
Anyways, this Sinfonietta on the 20th is going to be directed by the West Valley Symphony conductor and is made up of string players from WVS. So maybe there’s hope for the northwest valley! Thanks for listening to my little rant.