In March 2020, the Springfield Symphony Orchestra (SSO) shut down all live concerts and was not able to schedule any concerts for the 2021-2022 season. The financial difficulties caused by the pandemic questioned the long-term stability of the orchestra.
The $10,000 donation pledge from the Boston Symphony Orchestra (BSO) to the Musicians of the Springfield Symphony Orchestra (MOSSO)nwas, according to James Markey, BSO trombonist and Chair of the BSO Players’ Committee, in “sincere and heartfelt support” of their counterparts in SSO.
“We are deeply moved and grateful for this wonderful gesture of solidarity from our fellow musicians in Boston,” said Beth Welty, violinist and MOSSO co-founder.
After an almost two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, SSO musicians became involved in a dispute with the orchestra’s management over a new contract which included scheduling concerts for the 2021-2022 season.
The independent group MOSSO was formed during this time and aimed to promote live symphonic and chamber music in the region. They also performed a free concert — a $30,000 production that was paid for through grants and donations.
In addition to BSO's donation, MOSSO has so far received $43,000 from over 130 donors.
According to principal trumpeter and fellow MOSSO co-founder, Thomas Bergeron, all of the money raised from donations will be used to present live music in Western Massachusetts, including concerts for the upcoming holiday season. Plans for future performances will be announced soon.
“The BSO musicians are giving this gift not just to MOSSO, but to all of our audience members here in Western Massachusetts,” Welty continued. “They know how vital our presence is for the economic and cultural well-being of our community — just as theirs is for the Boston area.”
“We've received tremendous community support, and have been gratified by the enthusiastic response of our audiences,” added Miho Matsuno, violinist and MOSSO co-founder. “The encouragement of both community leaders and music lovers has bolstered our resolve to continue to program and perform concerts.”
Established in 1944, the SSO is the largest Massachusetts symphony outside of Boston comprising over 80 musicians from the U.S. and Canada.