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Green Bay Symphony to disband next year

Paternostro conducts the Israel Chamber Orchestra during a rehearsal in Bayreuth
Paternostro conducts the Israel Chamber Orchestra during a rehearsal in Bayreuth

GREEN BAY, Wis (WSAU-Wheeler News)  The Green Bay Symphony will be disband after next year, in part because fewer people appreciate orchestral music as a key part of the arts.

The 101-year-old group has seen drops in both attendance and donations in recent years. As a result, the Green Bay Symphony plans to go out with a bang, with a Star-Spangled Celebration on September 13th as the first of five farewell performances. Executive director Dan Linssen said disbanding was a hard decision -- but the orchestra cannot keep providing high-quality concerts while not knowing if they can cover their costs every time. He said the symphony has lost $30,000 to $50,000 in recent years, due to lost sponsorships and drops in ticket revenues.

Linssen calls this an "evolutionary phase in the arts." He said orchestras must be sensitive about what the next generation appreciates in the arts -- and clearly, it's not symphony concerts.

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