Meridian symphony asks supervisors to sponsor concert

By By Steve Gillespie / staff writer
July 16, 2004
Representatives of the Meridian Symphony Orchestra asked the Lauderdale County Board of Supervisors Thursday for its support as a major sponsor.
The symphony is entering its 44th season, said Dr. John McEachin, vice president of the Meridian Symphony Association, and has withstood the test of time.
Meridian has one of four orchestras in the state. The others are in Jackson, the Gulf Coast and Tupelo. But, McEachin said, fewer orchestras are able to thrive now.
Orchestras, he told supervisors during a work session Thursday, fail for one of two reasons they under-cultivate their sponsors or they overspend.
McEachin said orchestras in Colorado Springs, Colo., Tulsa, Okla., Savannah, Ga., and San Antonio, have folded. And, he said, orchestras in Memphis, Tenn., and Jackson are going through tough times.
McEachin told supervisors the symphony is taking a different approach to fund-raising this year by offering "Marquee Circle" sponsorships to corporate sponsors for $10,000 each. He asked supervisors to consider the top sponsorship.
A Marquee sponsorship would guarantee supervisors sole sponsorship of a particular concert, season tickets as requested, which McEachin said could go to school children or important visitors, and a full page advertisement in the symphony's program.
Other sponsorships for the 2004-2005 symphony season are available for $5,000, $3,000 and $1,000.
McEachin said Meridian's symphony has a budget of $200,000 the same as Tupelo's. He said ticket sales represent only about one-fifth of the symphony's income.
Supervisors said they will consider a sponsorship during budget meetings for next fiscal year. Also at Thursday's meeting were Dave Hastings, treasurer of the Meridian Symphony Association, and Frances Hinton, the association's secretary.

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