Education Programs And Small-Scale Public Engagement Events Will Continue

Fort Wayne, IN, November 4, 2020 — The Fort Wayne Philharmonic Board of Directors voted yesterday to extend the suspension of the concert season through May of 2021 due to the effects of the ongoing global pandemic. The Philharmonic will continue to implement resource-saving measures, including the extension of musician furloughs and further reductions in administrative staff positions, effective Jan. 1, 2021. 

The announcement comes as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic that is disrupting orchestras and other cultural institutions around the country. For example, the Philharmonic recently was notified that a venue used for rehearsals and concerts would be unavailable due to health safety and scheduling concerns.

Leadership said the Philharmonic is committed to working through this challenging period and emerging with the same high-artistic standards that audiences expect from the Fort Wayne Philharmonic.

 “It was our hope that we would be able to bring full-scale concerts back to the concert hall this spring. With the recent surge in virus cases and short-term challenges, the ability to produce our spring season as planned is no longer feasible,” said Philharmonic Board Chair Chuck Surack. “Along with the Board, I share a deep gratitude for our dedicated supporters, administration, and musicians as we navigate through this interim period. We look forward to the day when we are able to come together to once again bring world-class concerts to our community. Meanwhile, I am grateful for the small events and education opportunities that have been planned for the fall and look forward to those continuing throughout the spring.”

The Philharmonic continues to provide education support to school orchestra programs around the region.  

Since mid-March the pandemic has forced the Philharmonic to cancel dozens of concerts and events, including most summer concerts and the first half of the fall season. In March, the Philharmonic Board of Directors made the decision to continue to pay full-time and per service musicians through the end of the winter Season, then extended pay through the Summer Season, for a total of over five months. The Philharmonic management continues to be in talks with the Musicians Union to negotiate terms of a new contract.  The union has not yet responded to the most recent offer delivered Sept. 28.