I recently met with a senior representative from the Gulf Coast Community Foundation. The GCCF is a well known local benefactor in several areas including arts and culture. We discussed what makes the Venice Community Orchestra a unique organization in Venice; the fact that we are the only local multigenerational orchestra in the area. The VCO provides a venue for musicians of all levels to play in a symphonic orchestra; no audition required. Experience has showed that we attract:
- The more mature and professionally retired player who once played well in a prominent orchestra but wants to maintain his/her skills;
- The pro who simply likes to play while helping others in reaching higher levels of playing;
- The beginner who can learn by sitting next to better players who pulls them along to a higher level of playing;
- The younger musician who aspires to become a pro musician, and;
- The inveterate amateur who simply likes to play.
Our conversation focused on our most recent accomplishments including building the orchestra from an idea to a complement of 25 musicians in one year, self-funding a music library that will sustain us for another 8 to 12 months and holding 6 concerts of classical music selections for 1,500 attendees.
We also discussed our key challenges, namely to identify an affordable space for weekly rehearsals, and to fairly compensate our music director/conductor.
To meet the above challenges, our Board of Directors needs to build its fund raising capability. This can be accomplished by adding one or two Board Members who would be as passionate as we are about our mission and be ready to help in raising the necessary funds to meet our challenges.
If you are interested in joining our Board or if you know someone who might be interested in contributing to our success with fund raising activities, please advise. The rewards are immeasurable; they are derived from working with a congenial group of musicians of all ages and from the satisfaction in building a unique cultural and artistic organization to serve the Venice area community.