New Syracuse orchestra to debut in December

Nov 29, 2012

A new orchestra is rising out of the ashes of the old Syracuse Symphony Orchestra. The new group has announced it will make its official debut at a holiday concert December 14.

A string quartet serenaded guests at the Syracuse Civic Center Wednesday as the Musical Associates of Central New York announced plans for a new season. The reinvented organization brings back about 50 musicians of the 63 members from the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra (SSO) that went bankrupt over 18 months ago.

The new orchestra will perform several genres of music in different venues in the coming months. There will also be a ticket exchange for people who were not refunded tickets when the SSO went bankrupt.

The way it'll work, is musicians will be paid last - after all the bills are paid, according to Bob Papke, of SMG, which manages the civic center venue. He says this is a new way of doing things.

"This is cutting edge. This is something that has the industry's attention," said Papke. "It is something that is a new model, and it is something that makes a lot of sense."

It's that business plan that brought Onondaga County lawmakers on board, approving seed money for the fledgling group that has broad support from the community, according to county legislature chairman Ryan McMahon.

"The new business model makes sense. We're all shareholders, we're all stakeholders in the new model," said McMahon.

Board member and musician Jon Garland says the 50 former SSO musicians in the group are also optimistic about this arrangement.

"We all believe it's going to work. And we believe the enthusiasm we have for our performances will translate over and we will attract support and patronage and we will have a successful organization," said Garland.

The one thing Musical Associates didn't announce yet is the name of the group. That will be unveiled at the December 14 concert.