HSO asking community to ‘Turn Up the Music’

Published 12:00 am Sunday, May 22, 2011

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — Thanks to some very generous donations from the community, the Huntington Symphony Orchestra is preparing for a summer season that might not have happened.

Hogan Haas, executive director for the HSO, reported that more than $120,000 was contributed to the Save the Music campaign since the program was initiated in March. A one-time donation of $50,000, made this week, put the orchestra over its original $100,000 goal.

The campaign also brought in more than 40 new contributors who had never given to the HSO.

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“That’s a good sign that you’ve got new recruits coming in,” Haas said. “They were very helpful.”

Last week’s Tag Sale at the Big Sandy Superstore Arena plaza brought in an additional $5,600. That’s almost double the amount from last year’s sale.

Haas said previously that he had been working without pay, not even able to afford electricity for his office.

“The lights are halfway on. Not all of them,” he joked. The boost of contributions allows the orchestra to perform a shortened summer season, but does not keep away the threat of closure.

“There is some relief but I know that we still have a long way to go,” Haas said.

Because of the great strides the Save the Music campaign made, Haas said he decided to give the campaign a more appropriate name: Turn Up the Music.

“We still need the people to support us and come out to the concerts and make the corporate sponsorships and donations,” he said.

The HSO will hold another fundraiser on June 11 at Heritage Station in Huntington. The event will be a jazz festival with jazz bands, food and wine. Tickets go on sale next week.

The HSO’s Pops performances will be July 23 and Aug. 20 at the Harris Riverfront Park Amphitheater.

The July 23 concert, called Riverfest, will feature performances by Jazzou Jones and Bob Schad. Some of the selections include, “76 Trombones,” “Satchmo!: A Tribute to Louis Armstrong,” “The Great Steamboat Race” and “Stars and Stripes Forever.”

The Aug. 20 performance, called A Tribute to American Heroes, will feature performances by Marina Jurica and Ryan Hardiman. Some of the selections include “God Bless America,” “Hoe-Down from Rodeo” and “Battle Hymn of the Republic.”

Ticket for the Pops concert will go on sale June 6.

“We’re just so appreciative that the whole Tri-State is coming out to support the orchestra because we are basically the Tri-State orchestra,” Haas said. “That’s why I changed the name the Your Huntington Symphony Orchestra.”