BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The summer schedule for the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra remains canceled, only scheduled through June 16– but they still played their most important notes Thursday in Annapolis.
They said they were given just three weeks notice that they’d be out of work this season. The organization that’s lost millions recently is trying to change Gov. Larry Hogan’s mind to release the funds to keep them in business.
Thursday, the BSO rallied at the state capital to have their work schedule back this summer. They did what they do best to get the attention of the governor who is reviewing House Bill 1404 that would release $3.2 million to the BSO over the next two years to keep them in business.
“We’re trying to look at every little step to see where to go next and right now, what’s important before Monday hits is to get Gov. Hogan, to urge him to release the funds that are bipartisan support,” said BSO member Michael Lisicky.
Gov. Larry Hogan said the group has management problems and is concerned about the millions of dollars already being poured into the orchestra.
“We continue to pour millions and millions of dollars into the BSO but they’ve got real serious issues and problems with the management, losing the support of their donor base and legislature took the money out of the budget and fenced it off,” Gov. Hogan said.
The BSO has lost $16 million in the last decade. Scared and desperate to keep their jobs, their futures are in the hands of legislative action that guarantees nothing.
While they fought to salvage what they can of their summer season, their colleagues in Towson were in Baltimore County, where Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski announced some members of the BSO would perform at the Independence Day Extravaganza at Oregon Ridge on July 3– extending the tradition they’ve had since the 1970s.
“We are looking forward to a spectacular Extravaganza for Independence Day,” Olszewski said.
With uncertainty looming in Annapolis, they also addressed concerns about the future of the orchestra.
“It’s a difficult moment, and we think this amount of money would help bridge the gap right now,” said Brian Prechtl, co-chair of the Players Committee.
As of Thursday, Gov. Hogan hadn’t vetoed the House bill. He said he doesn’t know what the resolution will be.
“I don’t know why there’s such an uproar over the 1.6 million for the orchestra when we have 239 other million dollars for really important projects also that we’re going to have to talk about,”
“Everything is in place for this money to be released. Please, Gov. Hogan. Release this money!” Lisicky said.