The Santa Maria Philharmonic Society, a local nonprofit organization, is in need of your immediate assistance.  This organization has been providing the Santa Maria Valley and its surroundings with fine, live classical music since 1925 in its original founding by Dr. Allan Hancock.  Over the course of time it has gone through several transitions, organizational names and music directors.  But one thing has remained – the commitment to providing first class music to our patrons.  However, today I must tell you that, unless a significant amount of money is raised over the next few weeks, the Santa Maria Philharmonic Society, a true gem of the Santa Maria Valley, may have to close its doors.  We need your help to continue bringing fine, live classical music to our area.

Since 1975, with the initiation of Shirley Lynch, Concertmaster, our outreach to the youth of the valley took form.  This has remained constant and at the forefront of our mission and vision.  Today we present full orchestral presentations of Sergei Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf to over 2,500 fourth grade students from all over the valley through four concerts – two in November and two in February.  In addition, we bring a Music Van to over 2,500 third grade students in 31 elementary schools in the Santa Maria-Bonita, Guadalupe, Orcutt, Los Olivos, Blochman, Cuyama School Districts, and to the area private schools.

Today we are at a serious crossroads.  Over the past four years we have reduced our concert expenses by 50%.  In just the last two years – 37%.  Please note that neither our musicians, our music director, nor its Executive Director has received any increase in pay rates.  Rather, many have voluntarily taken cuts in their rates or donated their services.  Remarkably, this has been done without reducing the quality of our performances to our adult audiences and to our youth outreach.  Much credit must be given to our music director, Maestro John Farrer, for maintaining a high level of expectation and quality of performance from our orchestra.

We need your help, and we need it now.  The Santa Maria Philharmonic Society must raise nearly $100,000 within the next two months to provide the same quality of programming as we have been doing before.  This money will be used to cover $43,000 in outstanding payables and provide operational funding for our 2011-2012 fiscal year.

The Board of Directors has adopted the following strategic plan as of Monday, July 25, 2011.

  1. Distribute a letter of appeal to its members, patrons and media in the Santa Maria Valley to bring attention to its need;
  2. Announce that due to a lack of funding, the September 24, 2011 concert has been cancelled and the 2011-2012 subscription season will open on November 19, 2011.  Another concert is being planned later in the season to replace the September 24, 2011 concert.
  3. With the continued success of funding from local foundations through their granting processes, the Philharmonic Society we will maintain its outstanding Youth Outreach Programs to the children in the third and fourth grades throughout the Santa Maria Valley.

Finally, we have been invited to submit an application for a grant to expand our Youth Outreach Programs.  A positive response from the granting foundation would allow the Philharmonic Society to expand its outreach to the junior and senior high schools in the Santa Maria Valley and to begin the process of forming the Santa Maria Youth Symphony.

As stated earlier, your help is needed and needed now.  Please give serious consideration to assisting the Santa Maria Philharmonic Society in remaining a viable organization in the community of Santa Maria, California.  The benefits of having the arts in our lives are beyond measure:  touching the mind, heart and soul, enriching the body and spirit.

All gifts and donations may be sent directly to the Santa Maria Philharmonic Society at 120 East Jones Street, Suite 120, Santa Maria CA 93454.  All questions or comments may be directed to George Majoue, Executive Director at george@santamariaphilharmonic.org or (805) 925-0412.

The mission of the Santa Maria Philharmonic Society is to maintain and strengthen cultural value; preserve the classical music art form; enrich musical experiences in the community; provide fine, live musical performances; and provide cross-generational educational events in the Santa Maria and surrounding Valleys. For more information on programs offered by the Santa Maria Philharmonic Society call our office at (805) 925-0412 or visit us on the web at http://www.SantaMariaPhilharmonic.org