WARSAW — Symphony of the Lakes, one of four cultural units of the Warsaw based non-profit Wagon Wheel Center for the Arts, has announced that it will be taking a “pause” in its programming for the 2018-19 year while it restructures for better financial solvency and sustainability.
The 60-member orchestra, which has built a reputation for quality performances in the area, will next be heard as a complete ensemble at 8 p.m. Saturday, June 29, 2019, in the park at Winona Lake, as the symphony performs a free concert prior to the community’s fireworks display in partnership with Grace College. That will launch the orchestra’s 2019-20 season.
The Symphony will also be hosting the annual Young Artist Competition in March. More details will be released soon on that event.
As the Wagon Wheel Center for the Arts has transitioned from a for-profit entity over the past several years, it became clear that the orchestra was operating at a significant deficit, losing more than $150,000 over the past several seasons. To demonstrate due financial diligence, and to ensure the long-range stability of the orchestra, the Wagon Wheel Board has requested the symphony take a year off from performances while various financial models are studied and restructuring systems are being considered.
“We have no doubt this community can support a quality orchestra,” said Wagon Wheel board chair Deb Bishop. “We just haven’t yet found the right formula for how best to balance our revenues with expenditures.”
Noting that ticket sales amount to a very small portion of the needed revenue, Symphony of the Lakes chair Terry White expressed his appreciation for recent sponsors of the symphony’s programs.
“We are so grateful for the community support we have seen, from both the profit sector and non-profit organizations, as well as some generous individual donors,” said White.
Significant fundraising will be part of the ongoing new structure, according to symphony spokespeople, in addition to restructuring the various expenses associated with the concerts.
Members of the orchestra and related boards and committees are currently engaged in a series of working sessions to gain direction for the future. Anyone interested in knowing more, or in participating and giving input, is invited to call Wagon Wheel Executive Director Jay Michaels at (574) 267-8041.