The Knoxville Symphony Orchestra (KSO) concluded its 2015-16 fiscal year on May 31, 2016, with a balanced budget. This is the 10th consecutive year the organization has ended its fiscal year with a positive result.
The KSO Board of Directors also voted at its annual meeting on Sept. 8, 2016, to add two new board members: Becky Paylor, community volunteer and past president of the Knoxville Symphony League, and David Colquitt, chief of staff at Pilot Flying J. The KSO Board of Directors is chaired by Cynthia Moxley.
Moxley is halfway through her two-year term as board president and said these additions will strengthen the board as a whole. “We are fortunate to work with an outstanding staff and board of directors during this turning point in the organization as we introduce our new music director, Aram Demirjian,” she said. “The board plays a crucial role in upholding the organization’s mission, and ensuring financial sustainability.”
“We are proud to have balanced our annual budget for the 10th consecutive year,” KSO Executive Director Rachel Ford said. “Patrons have continued their amazing support of this institution via our Annual Fund and by attending performances throughout last year’s exciting search for the KSO’s new music director. Fundraising events through the Knoxville Symphony League along with individual contributions and concert sponsorships helped raise in excess of $1.7 million for the KSO, which allows us to continue making wonderful music throughout the Knoxville community.”
For the fiscal year ending May 31, 2016, the KSO had an audited surplus of $4,700. Total revenues were reported at $3,882,400 and total expenses at $3,877,600.
Other achievements this fiscal year included a sell-out of the new “Classical Christmas” program on the Chamber Classics series; an expansion of the Q Series, as well as an increase in attendance and paid capacity of 82% for that series; and a 6% growth in subscription revenue. The KSO saw solid sales in the Pops Series with 86% of available seats sold while paid attendance for the Concertmaster & Friends series reached an all-time high at 82%.
2015-16 hosted the largest Knoxville Symphony Youth Orchestra program in its 42-year history with 325 students participating in five orchestras. The season also saw four KSO musicians completing training to become Certified Music Practitioners, the Music & Wellness program’s expansion to serve patients with mental health care needs and the Library Story Time Program expanding to serve 2,300 people across 14 counties in East Tennessee.
To cap off the KSO’s successful year, the fiscal year ended with the appointment of Demirjian, who signed a three-year contract. The KSO Board of Directors is enthusiastic about launching the “Aram Era” with proven financial stability.
About the KSO
Established in 1935, and now under the leadership of Music Director Aram Demirjian, the KSO has contributed to the cultural life in East Tennessee continuously for 80 years, providing excellence in musical and educational programs. The Orchestra consists of 80 professional musicians and performs 250 programs throughout the region each season, reaching audiences of more than 200,000 people. The KSO performs in traditional venues such as the Tennessee Theatre, Bijou Theatre and the Civic Auditorium as well as non-traditional places like hospitals, schools, city parks and churches. For more information regarding the KSO, please call 865-291-3310.