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South Coast Symphony Starts to Reduce Deficit

<i> Times Staff Writer </i>

Officials of the South Coast Symphony on Friday said they are progressing toward solving the orchestra’s deficit problem and are beginning to raise the $140,000 necessary to continue its season as now scheduled.

Ralph Rodheim, a member of a task force formed to address the financial situation, announced a grant “in excess of $10,000" from Fred S. James & Co., an insurance firm in Irvine. Rodheim also said a donation from the Irvine Co. has been promised. Fund-raising efforts have netted another $11,000, orchestra manager Doreen Hardy said.

Because of declining ticket sales, the orchestra faces a shortfall of about $30,000 and needs another $110,000 to present the two concerts it has announced, Hardy said.

Meanwhile, the task force has recommended the formation of a three-member board of directors to run the organization for up to a year, task-force member Sally Anne Sheridan said Friday. The interim board will have to be approved by the full, 18-member board on Jan. 17, Sheridan said.

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A triumvirate could operate as a “leaner, meaner board to get us through this crisis period,” task force chairman Peter Buffa said. The three members, to be announced after the Jan. 17 meeting, are being selected “because of their commitment to the symphony, for their ability to get things done, and their contacts,” Sheridan said.

Meanwhile, the 12-member task force will keep “searching for the money and trying to get as many commitments as we can to save the (rest of the) season,” Sheridan said.

Remaining concerts are scheduled for March 4 at Santa Ana High School and April 29 at Orange Coast College.


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