NEPA Scene Staff

NEPA Philharmonic presents John Williams concert in Scranton on Oct. 7 before suspending operations

NEPA Philharmonic presents John Williams concert in Scranton on Oct. 7 before suspending operations
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From a press release:

Tickets are now on sale for the Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic’s PNC Pops at The Peoples Security Bank Theater at Lackawanna College in downtown Scranton on Saturday, Oct. 7 at 8 p.m.

On the podium will be Maestro Lawrence Loh in his final concert as conductor and music director of the Philharmonic. Loh has been with the NEPA Philharmonic for 12 seasons. During that time, the maestro has been a favorite of orchestra members and audiences alike, and a reception in his honor will take place at POSH at the Scranton Club (404 N. Washington Ave., Scranton) immediately following the performance.

The PNC Pops concert will feature music by award-winning film composer John Williams and will include some of his most popular film scores. During the first half of the program, the orchestra will play music from some of the most notable collaborations between John Williams and Steven Spielberg: “Jurassic Park,” “Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” “Schindler’s List,” and “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.” The second half will be a magical and powerful journey into the worlds of Star Wars, Harry Potter, and more. The Philharmonic’s assistant conductor Mélisse Brunet will make an appearance as well.

Although this concert will be the Philharmonic’s only main stage performance this season, plans are underway for a series of chamber concerts and eclectic musical presentations throughout the year. Details on these and diverse community-based fundraising events will be announced at a later date. The board and staff are hoping to be able to go forward with programs like Young People’s Concerts, the Mentoring Program, and Music in Our Schools.

The Board of Trustees of the Philharmonic Society, which governs the Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic, announced last month that it was necessary to suspend the 2017-18 season. The decision to be fiscally responsible and to focus this year on new paths going forward will enable the Philharmonic to establish new priorities, implement new marketing strategies, and raise the funds necessary to support a season for 2018-19. The board is actively exploring creative new options and opportunities in order to ensure the orchestra’s future.

The NEPA Philharmonic explained more on its website:

For 45 years, the NEPA Phil has been regarded as the crown jewel of the arts community in Northeastern Pennsylvania. However, in spite of past corporate and individual sponsorships, regional donations, and ticket sales, the Philharmonic Society is now unable to support the coming season. Even a sold-out house provides only 35 percent of the cost of producing each concert. The board and staff have cut expenses, received unwavering support from all parts of the region, introduced new marketing and relocated to new venues, but are still unable to remain solvent.

Jonathan Kaledin’s column in USA Today several months ago carried the headline “Orchestras are too important to fail.” He continues, “America’s orchestras have been caught in a changing landscape for several decades now… Some of our orchestras have not survived or are a shadow of what they once were. New Orleans, Denver, Honolulu, San Jose, Syracuse, the New York City Opera, the list is long and sobering.”

The Philharmonic has played an important role in our local economy. The quality of life in Northeastern Pennsylvania has been greatly enhanced by having live symphonic music of the highest caliber and education programs for people of all ages and economic backgrounds. This precious jewel must be nurtured for future generations to experience the magic of music with their families and friends.

It is with deep regret that the Philharmonic is unable to perform a full season of exceptional live music for NEPA this year. Everyone associated with the orchestra extends appreciation and gratitude to all who have made it possible.

Sponsors of this upcoming concert at Lackawanna College (501 Vine St., Scranton) are PNC, Berkshire Asset Management, Carol Breig, Carol and Don Dembert, Geisinger, People’s Security Bank, Philharmonic League, POSH at the Scranton Club, and Rosewood Realty. The media sponsor is WNEP-TV.