The Ventura County Symphony Assn.'s board of directors appreciates Josef Woodard's positive comments about the quality of our musical performances and our concert presentations. We have some concerns, however, about the non-musical comments printed regarding the symphony's performance of the "Barber of Seville" (Ventura County Life, April 10).
Mr. Woodard took particular issue with the recognition given to our sponsor Texaco by music director Boris Brott in our concert program book. Anyone who has been to the movies, rented or purchased a video lately, not to mention, attended a sports event, knows that commercial sponsorship has become the lifeblood of expression in those fields. The sponsors require and expect visible recognition for their contributions, often in the form of commercial messages.
Patrons of the arts know that for every dollar they pay for their seat, another $1.25 must come from other sources to pay for the event. Despite heroic efforts, our major symphonic organizations are either going bankrupt or borrowing dangerously from their endowment funds.
So that the arts are not reduced to begging for charitable donations, we at the Ventura County Symphony are creating exciting, visible marketing opportunities that make good business sense to corporations intelligent enough to see the possibilities in connecting their product and image with an exclusive up-market audience.
The sponsors of the Ventura County Symphony are deeply appreciated by our audiences who have filled the Oxnard Community Auditorium to capacity all season long. Moreover, our audience has generously applauded those sponsor's recognition.
GREGORY H. SMITH
Smith is president of the Ventura County Symphony Assn.