It’s time for an update regarding some of the benefit concerts which have taken place in the aftermath of hurricane Katrina…
The orchestra confirms raising approximately $37,000 from those in attendance with additional donations coming in after the event. In the end, they anticipate a much higher result as a result of a phone-a-thon held in conjunction with the concert. The orchestra musicians also responded to the cause with nearly 100% of them donating their services and time. WFMT broadcast the concert nationwide to an estimated 75,000 listeners in Chicago, Washington State, Montana, New York, North Dakota, and Texas.
The orchestra raised $45,000 which they donated directly to the American Red Cross. Everyone involved in the concert event (including Gerard Schwarz, cellist Lynn Harrell, the musicians, ushers, stage crew, and staff) donated their time and expertise to produce the concert. Local media and businesses donated their services as well. The Seattle Symphony management reports that many new people from their community attended the concert, including a number of young adults and families. The Seattle Times reviewed the event.
The orchestra reports that they are still tabulating receipts and donations from the concert which was well attended given the fact that the city was in the beginning stages of evacuating for Hurricane Rita. The event was reviewed in the Houston Chronicle.
In a peculiar twist of fate, this benefit concert was the last performance before they cancelled their concerts for the following weekend. Fortunately, HSO executive director, Matthew VanBesien, reports that that all are safe at the Houston Symphony and there is no damage to Jones Hall. Upon returning, the orchestra has reinstated their regularly scheduled concerts.
More concerts are planned in the near future including the anxiously anticipated reuniting of the Louisiana Philharmonic in Nashville, TN., sponsored by the Nashville Symphony. If there are any other orchestras with details from their own hurricane benefit concert, please send them in.
In the meantime, you can keep tabs on many benefit concerts and recital events at the Upcoming Benefit Concerts & Relief Efforts For Gulf Coast Region Ensembles page (don’t forget to check the “comments” on the bottom of the page, many smaller benefit events and recitals are posted there).