The North Bay Symphony Orchestra concluded the 2003/2004 season Saturday evening with a brilliant performance by Classical Guitarist Kevin Ramessar, as part of the Celebrating Young Canadian Talent series.
Ramessar wasn’t the only guest to grace the stage of the Capitol Centre with a skillful performance.
Nipissing MPP Monique Smith was also on hand to present the organization with a grant from the Trillium Foundation that will assist the NBSO in attaining a resident conductor.
“It will help us find a conductor who will work with students, live in North Bay and conduct the symphony,” remarked Robert Palangio, treasurer/past-president of the NBSO.
“Our present conductor Dr. Metro Kozak is setting out for new endeavours but will assist in the search.”
Fundraising and Attendance have been an issue
Palangio also commented on the struggles the symphony has faced over the years just to keep operating, and that this year has been no exception.
“Musically it has been a good season,” observed Palangio.
"Attendance is down, but that is reflective across the board for the arts community, the Capitol Centre included. We need to make the citizens aware of the symphony’s presence in North Bay. When they do come they are overwhelmed.”
He also indicates that the hospital fundraising campaign has impacted Symphony coffers.
“It is a pleasant sacrifice because the hospital is a good project, but we have felt the pinch of their efforts. Fundraising is fifty per cent of our revenue and we are preparing for upcoming events like our book sale June 4 and the garden tour July 24," Palangio said.
"We are also trying something new this year as we seem to disappear at the end of April until September, so Sunday afternoons in August we will perform at the waterfront band shell. The performances are free but we will be passing the hat.”
Palangio commends the board and players for their commitment, and for seeing the symphony as an important part of the community.
Palangio, reflecting on the recent activities in North Bay, says that new industry spells change and the symphony wants to be part of it.
“We are fortunate to have a community symphony. The symphony is good for musicians as well as the audience, without us they would not have an opportunity to play on a stage," Palangio said.
"And it is an attraction for people looking to relocate to the city from the GTA, and having what they had in the south, and you can cycle new players.”
Palangio also praised the youth wing of the symphony for what it brings to the organization.
"They keep us vibrant and help us perform different styles of music. They often return years later as guest performers," Palangio said.
With the current season not quite tucked away the NBSO released the 2004/2005 season series, which will open with a spooky symphonic mystery October 30, at 8pm.