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Syracuse's symphony to announce new name at ‘Holiday Symphonic Spectacular’

A string quartet composed of musicians from Syracuse’s newly branded symphony performs in the Civic Center lobby following a press conference Nov. 18. County Executive Joanie Mahoney and Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner can be seen talking with college music professor Heather Bookman.

A string quartet composed of musicians from Syracuse’s newly branded symphony performs in the Civic Center lobby following a press conference Nov. 18. County Executive Joanie Mahoney and Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner can be seen talking with college music professor Heather Bookman. Photo by Ned Campbell.

— “We will be creating a database from the list of ticket buyers that was published in the bankruptcy records of the SSO,” he said. “If your name is on that list, you will be eligible to receive free tickets for a future concert.”

A business model that’s ‘cutting edge’

The symphony will run on a unique business model that Onondaga County Legislature Chair Ryan McMahon called a “co-op.” The Onondaga County 2013 budget includes $300,000 for the new orchestra; in October, the legislature voted to give the group $120,000 in 2012.

“The reason why we did that and why we’re so confident in doing that is that the new business model makes sense,” McMahon said. “We’re all shareholders, we’re all stakeholders.”

The musicians will only get paid when the money is available, he said.

“The musicians have a lot of skin in the game at this point,” he said. “They’ve done [about 10 performances already], and they haven’t been paid a lot of money yet.”

But the money is coming, he said, from both Musical Associates of CNY and the county.

“I just want to implore this community at large to support this organization,” he said.

The business plan was formed with help from Bob Papke, vice president of live entertainment for SMG — a company that manages more about 230 venues worldwide and has been running the Oncenter for the past few months. Papke called the press conference a celebration.

“That’s really what this is as we commemorate the rebirth of orchestral music in Syracuse,” he said.

He said there are orchestras all over the country that are struggling to garner public and private financial support. But in Syracuse, he said, the glass is half full.

“If you can get everybody pulling in the same direction, you’re going to have a much greater chance of being successful,” he said. “And that’s really the excitement about this project.”

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