Economic Downturn hits Baltimore Symphony

The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra laid off five of its 67 administrative employees and changed one full-time position to part-time yesterday in an effort to reduce expenditures. Those moves, along with a decision not to fill certain open staff positions, will save the BSO about $500,000.

"We can see that the economic downturn is going to be a lot more prolonged than we had expected," president/CEO Paul Meecham said. "We're trying to do everything we can to cut costs and raise money, without cutting quality onstage."

The BSO has seen a decline in single-ticket sales and government grants this season. Meecham said smaller gifts of $500 or less are down about 30 percent from last year. And since Sept. 1, the orchestra's endowment has dropped 23 percent in value, to about $47 million.

- according to Tim Smith, Baltimore Sun

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