In Thursday’s (2/7) Chicago Tribune, Quan Truong writes, “If patrons of the College of DuPage’s orchestra want the 36-year-old ensemble to stick around, they’ll have to reach into their wallets. The future of the New Philharmonic is uncertain after performances for the rest of the season were canceled and some of the staff was let go. Patrons will soon receive pledge cards, asking for help to keep the orchestra afloat, college officials said. A $35 million renovation at the [McAninch Arts Center] forced the ensemble to play at various outside venues this season, a move that led to the usual attendance dropping by more than half, said Stephen Cummins, director of the McAninch Arts Center. While shows typically drew around 1,100, the first three performances of this season averaged more than 500 each. Based on those numbers and projecting a $175,000 loss in revenue, the remaining two concerts were canceled. … ‘Based on the support we’ve seen since we announced that this season would be short, it leads us to believe we can raise this money,’ Cummins said. ‘People have communicated to us that this is a cultural jewel and I think it really means a lot to the classical music audience that there is a professional symphony orchestra in DuPage County.’ ”

Posted February 8, 2013