Dear Houston Symphony Family Member,
The past few months have brought catastrophic losses and challenges to our community—but they have also demonstrated to the world just how united, selfless and #Strong Houston really is.
While Jones Hall suffered less than some nearby venues, the damage and subsequent repairs led to the displacement of our orchestra and staff for seven weeks and the cancellation of nearly 20 concerts and events. However, while we were unable to perform in Jones Hall, the music played on. In the aftermath of the storm, over 25 musicians quickly assembled to play at shelters throughout Houston, giving 20 performances in nine days. Thanks to our friends at Rice University and the University of Houston, we were able to relocate 10 performances, six of which were full-orchestra concerts presented at no charge, as it was important to provide the shared experience of beautiful music in what our music director, Andrés Orozco-Estrada characterized as “group therapy” for all of our friends and neighbors in the Houston community.
We expect foregone revenue for the 2017-18 season to total approximately $2.5 to 3 million. We are taking action to mitigate the impact, and are confident in our community’s desire to support our recovery. We will soon be launching a campaign for Harvey relief with a goal of raising $2 million by December 31, complete with a generous challenge grant to inspire contributions. If you have ever considered a gift to the Houston Symphony, now is the time. To help, please click here.
Music will return to the Theater District when the Houston Symphony makes its 2017-18 Jones Hall debut with three performances of Mozart’s Jupiter Symphony. We can’t wait to share this special homecoming with our entire community. We look forward to bringing Houston a full season of magnificent Classical, POPS, Family and Community concerts, as we believe the arts play a key role in healing our community following our shared crisis. In addition, this March, Andrés and the orchestra will embark upon an eight-city major European tour, showcasing on the world stage, perhaps at a time more important than ever, the quality of Houston’s cultural arts and our city’s remarkable resilience following Hurricane Harvey.
We are thankful to have had the chance to share music with our community throughout this challenging time. Most of all, we are thankful for you, our audience. Orchestras belong to their community, and we are so incredibly proud to be Houston’s symphony, now and always.
Janet F. Clark
Houston Symphony Society Board