Appeal aims to help DSO deal with challenges

Dunedin Symphony Orchestra volunteers put copies of the Keep Making Music Appeal 2021 into...
Dunedin Symphony Orchestra volunteers put copies of the Keep Making Music Appeal 2021 into envelopes ready for posting to supporters this week. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
The Dunedin Symphony Orchestra will launch its inaugural Keep Making Music Appeal on Monday.

The appeal for donations aims to support the orchestra to meet the ongoing challenges of performing through the pandemic, as well as develop high-quality programmes.

DSO general manager Philippa Harris said while the orchestra was doing all right financially at present, the ongoing uncertainty around the Covid-19 pandemic meant it was important to do everything possible to strengthen its position.

"Not only do we want to continue doing what we normally do, we want to grow our programmes," Ms Harris said.

The appeal would mean supporters could help the orchestra to build on the recent three-year $270,000 grant it received from the Otago Community Trust.

"The trust’s support and that of other funders and our sponsors are a great vote of confidence for us, and we are very grateful for it.

"A big focus for us is on securing, growing, and diversifying our audiences for the future, and there are some exciting plans taking shape around that," she said.

DSO development manager Sandy McRae said the orchestra was immensely grateful to its loyal supporters, who were vital for its continued strength.

"The challenge is to keep our audience numbers strong, and to do that we need to expand our offerings," Ms McRae said.

DSO marketing manager Pieter du Plessis said by supporting the Keep Making Music Appeal, the public would be helping to look after the players.

"By supporting us to look after the players, the greater the repertoire we can perform in the future," he said.

The Covid-19 pandemic had highlighted how important it was for people’s wellbeing to be able to experience live music and events.

For the DSO, 2021 has been a challenging year, with concerts having to be cancelled and adapted, but overall had turned out quite well, Ms Harris said.

The orchestra had managed to present three of its five planned concerts so far, and had taken part in 11 events so far this year.

Excitement was high among staff, players and audience members ahead of tomorrow’s concert at Dunedin Town Hall, conducted by Kenneth Young and featuring renowned pianist Diedre Irons as soloist for Beethoven’s Piano concerto No5, known as the Emperor. .

"Our restricted number of tickets have been selling really quickly, and people have been really excited about the concert," Ms Harris said.

"It is going to be great for both our players and our audience."

Along with the postal appeal, supporters are invited to donate at from Monday.

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