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Gainesville Symphony Orchestra plans to reorganize, rebound
Funding problems led to suspension of operations by GSO
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Tough economic conditions continue to impact society and the Gainesville Symphony Orchestra is the latest to feel its effect.

The orchestra's board of directors announced Friday its decision to suspend operations because of lack of funding.

"We simply didn't have the funds to support the orchestra and the concerts," Jim Toopes, vice president of the board, said Saturday.

He said symphonies across the country are experiencing similar struggles as a result of economic conditions.

"With the economy over the last three-plus years being what it is, symphonies — not just Gainesville but other symphonies — are struggling also and we understand that," Toopes said.

Toopes said the overall reaction of the decision among the board and members of the orchestra is that of disappointment.

"Obviously, the board's disappointed," he said. "I talked to a couple of the musicians and they're disappointed, but I haven't heard anything from the community."

While the board was disappointed about the decision, they remain hopeful they will be able to reorganize and return in time for next year's July Fourth holiday concert.

"Our plan is to reorganize and restructure the board, add board members and then give ourselves time to really market the orchestra and its value to the community and be in position, hopefully, to have a Fourth of July concert next summer," Toopes said.

A decision to cancel youth auditions was also announced because of lack of funds and interest.

"What we found was that many of the students that participated in youth symphony are also in school bands, and this is football season and sort of the highlight of school band season," Toopes said.

The youth program, however, is expected to resume in the spring when students have more time to participate, Toopes said.

"That has certainly not died and we want that to be an important part of the symphony's outreach to the community," he said.

A plan to restructure and secure plans has not yet been discussed, Toopes said. The board plans to meet at the beginning of October to begin those discussions.

"We're going to begin that discussion on how we approach the community, both as individual donors and corporate donors, so that's exactly why we wanted to buy ourselves time," he said.