Source: Wilfrid Laurier University
Laurier faculty of music to donate concert revenues to the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony
October 11, 2006
Dr. Charles Morrison
Dean, Faculty of Music
Professor, Music Theory
(519) 884-0710 ext. 2151
Lori Chalmers Morrison
(519) 884-0710 ext. 3070
WATERLOO Ė The faculty of music at Wilfrid Laurier University opens its
ensemble concert season on October 14 and 15 with the WLU Symphony
Orchestra, conducted by professor Paul Pulford. In light of the financial
difficulties faced by the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony Orchestra (KWSO),
which were announced last week, the faculty of music will donate the
revenues from its two opening orchestra concerts to the KWSO. Laurierís
presidentís office will match the revenues.
"The faculty of music at Laurier is very fortunate to have musicians of the
caliber of the KWSO in its own community," said Charles Morrison, dean of
the faculty of music. "A number of members of the KWSO have taught for us
for many, many years and have dedicated themselves not only to their own
orchestra and the K-W community, but also to our music program and to our
students in particular."
Last week, the KWSO announced that without an infusion of $2.5 million by
the end of October, it would face bankruptcy. The KWSO has been an
institution in this community for some 61 years.
"The KWSO has long understood its importance in, and responsibility to, the
community," Morrison said. "It is now time for the community to realize that
it has a responsibility back to the orchestra and mount a full-court press
to save it. This is our way of helping out."
As outlined in recent press coverage, Kitchener is considering its
application to be a culture capital, which makes the future of the KWSO
critical. According to Morrison, an active, well-supported symphony will go
a long way in support of such an application, while a history that includes
a bankrupt symphony will only diminish the likelihood of attaining such a
The day after the press conference at which KWSO Board Chair Bob Astley
announced the financial difficulties, Laurierís faculty of music pledged its
"When I contacted president Rosehart to alert him of our plans to support
the KWSO, he immediately pledged to match our revenues, thereby doubling our
donation," explained Morrison.
"The region of Waterloo is well known for post-secondary education, science
and technology, and the arts.
Itís important that we donít lose sight of the contribution that the arts
make to a vibrant community," said Rosehart. "Because of Laurierís role in
the community, as well as our faculty of music, we feel that the community
needs a symphony orchestra. Itís for that reason that we would like to
support the symphony in whatever way we can."
The faculty of music routinely uses its own concert revenues to fund its
entrance scholarships. The level of competitiveness in attracting the best
students into music programs has shot up in the past few years, so a healthy
entrance scholarship program is important. Thus, it is not without some risk
that the faculty pledges its concert revenues to an external cause.
"But," Morrison added, "we are talking about a bigger issue here, and when a
major contributor to the musical-cultural life of our community is faced
with a crisis, we have to look beyond our immediate needs and do what we can
for the larger institution of live orchestral music. We will find other ways
to take care of our scholarship fund; right now, we must do what we can to
save one of the jewels in the crown of this community."
The WLU orchestra concert will take place on Saturday, October 14 at 8:00
p.m. in the Maureen Forrester Recital Hall, and will be repeated on Sunday,
October 15 at 3:00 p.m. Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for seniors and
students from other universities, and free to all Laurier and high school