The Tupelo Symphony Orchestra, backed by a chorus from Mississippi State University put on a first-class performance Sunday in the New Albany High School Auditorium.
The music, John Philip Sousa’s “El Capitan,” and the accompanying vocals were lively and entertaining, even for those who are not students of orchestral music. In short, it was a treat for our community to have an event of this caliber. About 250 people attended.
Unfortunately, the concert did not break even, which has prompted some to suggest that New Albany is not capable of sustaining a concert by the Tupelo Symphony. The symphony has performed here the last three years.
We are not one of them. Quality cultural events in our community should be a priority, just like festivals and sports tournaments.
It costs about $18,000 to have the symphony here. Obviously, ticket sales could never finance the bulk of the cost. This year $13,000 in revenue was generated, the bulk from donations. The largest were $2,500 from the Magnolia Civic Center, $2,500 from tourism funds and $1,000 from the UNITE charitable foundation.
We think the event has a better chance of getting additional money, including possible arts grants, if it were managed by the Tallahatchie Arts Council, not the Union County Development Association. We also think cultural events are more suited to the arts council’s mission.
We appreciate the hard work by the association and the steering committee that made it happen. We think the community – and the arts council – can build on that for an even more successful event next year.