Inside the Dayton Arts Merger Part 1


It’s been a busy summer so far here in Dayton, as well as a hot one!   As of July 1, the Dayton Ballet, Dayton Opera, and Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra are now one organization – the Dayton Performing Arts Alliance, the first merged ballet company, opera company, and symphony orchestra in the United States.  When Drew contacted me about writing a guest column a few weeks ago, I thought I would use this opportunity to provide an inside look at how our merger came about.

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TAFTO 2012 Contribution: Paul Helfrich

TAFTO 2012 Paul Helfrich

I’m pleased to be part of TAFTO for 2012. I have to admit, though, I’ve often been a bit cynical about the endeavor. A lot of past contributions seem to fall in one of two camps. The first group typically focuses on the evangelical power of classical music, its ability to effect sudden conversions in listeners of a quasi-religious nature. These usually feature stories of truck drivers and jackhammer operators with tears in their eyes upon hearing their first classical concert. I call these “exceptions that prove the rule,” because we all know that oftentimes, a first exposure to a classical music concert does not bring about such an immediate conversion; in fact, sometimes the opposite happens, and is probably more likely.