How will the SSO's shutdown impact the other symphony orchestra in town?

Will the absence of the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra mean an influx of potential new members to the Onondaga Civic Symphony Orchestra?

Not likely, says OCSO Musical Director Erik Kibelsbeck.

"We're very sorry to see this happening with the SSO," Kibelsbeck said last week. "We'll certainly continue doing what we do, and I don't expect this will change what we do at all."

The OCSO, unlike the SSO, is a pay-to-play group for local musicians of various skill levels. The group meets to rehearse on Monday nights and holds an average of four performances each year.

Musicians pay dues to play, and there's no audition process to join.

"It's a completely different league," Kibelsbeck said.

"That being said, it's a wonderful orchestra," he added. "They come every Monday night in spite of whatever else may be going on in their lives."

The OCSO's annual operating budget?

"Well under $10,000," Kibelsbeck said. "We're operating on a complete shoestring."

Kibelsbeck is the only paid member of the OSCO, although soloist are paid a "small, small amount," he said.

Admission to OCSO events are typically a suggested donation.

"It's a wonderful thing, but compared to the SSO we're a club," explained Kibelsbeck.

Get your classical music fix at OCSO's next performance at 3 p.m. Sunday May 15 at Atonement Lutheran Church in Syracuse. Visit home.roadrunner.com/~ocso for more information and the rehearsal schedule.

If you're interested in joining, contact the OCSO to sit in on an upcoming rehearsal.

"We have enough flutes," Kibelsbeck said. "We'd love to have more cellos, violas and basses at the moment."

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