“The St. Paul Chamber Orchestra has taken risks: Naming a musician as chief artistic director, rather than a conductor,” writes Jenna Ross in Tuesday’s (12/6) Star Tribune (Minneapolis). “Starting a $5-a-month membership that allows unlimited concert attendance. Letting children and high school and college students in for free. On Tuesday, the organization reported that these and other risks resulted in a number of highs. The number of households that attended a concert during the fiscal year that ended June 30 topped last year’s record, reaching 12,900. The amount that individuals donated to its annual fund rose almost 8 percent, to about $2.7 million. Its net ticket revenue also hit a high: $1.5 million in fiscal 2016.… The St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, or SPCO, balanced its $10 million budget in fiscal 2016, with a surplus of about $245,000…. About 61.5 percent of the SPCO’s income came from contributions and other support. About 20.7 percent was earned, a category that includes ticket sales. The endowment provided the rest. The year, the ensemble’s first full season in the new, $42 million Ordway Concert Hall, was ‘transformational,’ said Jon Limbacher, the SPCO’s managing director and president. Concerts there filled 95 percent of the seats.”

Posted December 8, 2016