After 20 years of bringing the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra to Westminster, the Symphony Society of Carroll County has announced it no longer will sponsor those appearances.
"The rising cost of the symphony, Interstate 795, so many people working in Baltimore who would rather go to Baltimore to the symphony, all combined to make us decide not to bring the BSO out here," said D. Susan Koch, spokesman for thecounty group.
The society usually offered two or three BSO concerts during the year, most recently at Westminster High School. But Koch said the recent Christmas concert was the last for the BSO in Carroll.
Declining ticket sales was the major factor in the decision, Koch said.
"We had 350 who attended the Christmas concert, and I'm told that the Westminster High School auditorium holds 1,600, so there were a lot of empty seats," she said.
Koch said the Symphony Society would like to take credit for the BSO receiving some 300 Carroll County subscribers to its Baltimore performances, indicating that countians do enjoy the symphony.
"But once you've been to the Meyerhoff, where youcan hear every instrument, it's just not the same at the high school," she noted.
BSO Executive Director John Gidwitz said the BSO appreciated the county group's efforts on the symphony's behalf and would miss coming to Westminster.
"In the absence of taking the BSO toCarroll, we will continue to serve those concert-goers and the 1,800children at youth concerts and endeavor to find ways of attracting even more county residents to the BSO," he said.
Koch said the Symphony Society will reorganize this month and continue to function actively through its scholarship program, bus trips to various nearby symphonies and other events and the annual Christmas brass concert.
"We thought it best to do other things at this time," Koch said.
Subscribers who had tickets for the March concert and want a refund cancontact the society through the Carroll County Arts Council, 10 N. Court St., Westminster, Md. 21157.