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Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra may not be returning next year

The Board of Directors for the Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra have decided to suspend operations for the orchestra’s 2017-18 season pending a review for what they’re calling “the organization’s prospects beyond its current season.”

“We are confident this hiatus will serve to reaffirm our value to Santa Barbara, leading to greater financial support and a bright future for the orchestra,” said Chamber Orchestra Board Chair Joe Campanelli in a written statement.

The organization’s leadership will make a final determination on the orchestra’s future once an assessment of the organization’s budget has been completed within the next 90 days.

“Like many classical music ensembles in the United States, the Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra is largely dependent on the largess of our community, which is to say ticket sales fund but a small fraction of our operating budget,” said Campanelli.

Options could include presenting next season in its entirety, reducing the number of concerts, or disassembling the orchestra permanently.

“Should the unlikely occur, and we make the difficult decision to close for good, we’d do so with our heads held high,” said Campanelli. “The fact is, this is an organization deserving of recognition whatever the outcome. The Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra should be celebrated in its home city and beyond.”

The Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra will present its final concert of the 2016-17 season on Tuesday, May 16, at the Lobero Theater.

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