In Tuesday’s (8/9) Star-Ledger, Ronni Reich reports, “The Westfield Symphony Orchestra and the New Philharmonic of New Jersey will join forces to become Musica Morristown this season, the organizations announced jointly on Sunday. The collaboration fulfills a long-term goal for the WSO to expand its reach into Morristown—and aims to relieve some of the economic pressures that both organizations have faced. ‘We could continue to exist on our own, but we would have to make much more significant reductions in programming,’ said NPNJ president Barry Zucker. ‘This was a much better alternative for the community.’ WSO music director David Wroe will share an artistic leadership role with the NPNJ’s Leon Hyman. … The 28-year-old WSO had a budget of about $600,000 in 2010-11. The new ensemble is expected to have a budget between $700,000 and $750,000.  … The 34-year-old NPNJ had a budget of $175,000 last season. Although the orchestra did not run a deficit and ticket sales were slightly up from the previous year, the NPNJ was forced to change the programming for its final concert of 2011 because it could not afford its original plans. The combined organization will perform at each orchestra’s previous home … The orchestra is expected to employ 45 to 60 musicians.”

Posted August 10, 2011