Saginaw Bay Symphony Orchestra aims to raise $20,000 in lost sales during pandemic

SAGINAW, MI – Saginaw Bay Symphony Orchestra leaders hope the community will help the organization recover from the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on concert sales.

The organization launched a three-year campaign this summer to collect the estimated $20,000 in lost revenue when the orchestra canceled in-person concerts in 2020 and 21 to prevent the spread of the virus.

Cameron Massey, the group’s acting executive director, said a widely online crowdfunding wing of that effort — called the COVID Recovery Campaign — had since June raised about $2,500 in donations from the public.

He said the organization hopes to raise about half of the total fundraising goal of $20,000 through the crowdfunding effort, which will end in late September. Orchestra staff and board members hope to raise the remaining funds in part from corporate donors and other community supporters.

Massey said the orchestra was not at risk of interrupting its performances, but that the campaign was essential to keep the quality of these concerts as well as the level of ticket prices.

“The quality of the experience we can provide in Saginaw and Bay (counties) is extremely important to the orchestra,” Massey said. “Supporting the orchestra ensures that we can continue to provide this high-level experience and prices that are inclusive for everyone.”

Massey said the crowdfunding money is coming in via an online donation option as well as supporters sending checks to the Saginaw Bay Symphony Orchestra, which is housed at the Temple Theater, 201 N. Washington in downtown Saginaw.

During the first months of the pandemic, the orchestra – like so many organizations around the world – canceled in-person events.

“We couldn’t do shows for a year, and it really wore us out,” Massey said.

Yet the symphony performed in 2020 and 21 at the Temple Theatre, albeit without an audience. Instead, the concerts were taped so viewers could watch virtually.

The orchestra resumed in-person concerts in the fall of 21.

As the previous season ended, the band will perform two free Saginaw for Kids concerts on Tuesday, August 23 at 1:30 p.m. at the Mid-Michigan Children’s Museum, 315 W. Genesee; and 3 p.m. at the Saginaw Children’s Zoo, 1730 S. Washington.

The orchestra’s next season — titled “The Power of Music” — kicks off at 8 p.m. on Saturday, October 22 at the Temple Theatre. The schedule for the 5 concerts of the season is available on the organization’s website and is previewed in a YouTube video.

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