Music merge in the works in Pasadena

Times Staff Writer

The Pasadena Symphony and the Pasadena Pops Orchestra will merge under the umbrella organization of the Pasadena Symphony Assn., effective immediately, officials are expected to announce today.

Jorge Mester will remain music director of the Pasadena Symphony and lead the orchestra's concerts at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium. Rachael Worby will continue to direct the summer programs at Descanso Gardens, but the name of her orchestra will be changed to the Pasadena Pops Symphony, effective Oct. 1.

The budget for the new organization will be about $4.5-million, according to PSA executive director Tom O'Connor. The boards will combine, and existing education and community programs will continue.

"The two institutions are stronger together than apart," O'Connor said. "The merger gives us a more efficient infrastructure while maintaining two distinct products."

Mester has been music director for the Pasadena Symphony since 1984. Worby has directed the Pasadena Pops since 1999.

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