The Rockford Symphony in Illinois announced that it ended its 2008-09 season with a 3 percent increase in paid attendance and a balanced budget, pending a final audit. The orchestra’s fiscal year ended on June 30. More than 22,000 attended RSO concerts during the season; total attendance at classics and pops concerts was 17,463, versus 16,934 for 2007-08, and 8,000 students participated in its educational programs—a record number for the orchestra. On the other hand, reflecting the weak national economic picture, the RSO’s donations decreased 19 percent; earlier this season the orchestra instituted salary freezes, a staff reduction, and other administrative cost reductions, as well of reprogramming content of its final classics concert of the season. The RSO also applied for and recently received a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The orchestra performs at the Coronado Theatre in Rockford and will celebrate its 75th anniversary during the 2009-10 season.

Posted July 14, 2009