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Community Digest

Long Beach

March 28, 1985

Work is continuing on the resurrection of the Long Beach Symphony Orchestra, which went dark in November because of a $575,000 debt.

Mayor Ernie Kell and Robert Langslet, chairman of a task force created to bring the symphony back to life, Tuesday announced the names of the orchestra's new managing directors and executive board members. The managing directors will have sole responsibility for operation of the symphony until the ensemble's financial crisis is over, or one year passes, Langslet said.

The executive board members will function as a board of directors, suggesting strategies to overcome the debt problems. And the existing symphony board, which voted to cancel most of the orchestra's 1984-85 season, will remain as an advisory and fund-raising body, Langslet said.

The three new managing directors are Michael J. Choppin, president and chairman of the board of IDM Corp; George M. Murchison, president of Murchison & Marek accountancy corporation, and Dr. Robert W. Porter, president of the Long Beach Symphony Assn.

The new executive board members are Jack Berro, a local Realtor; Daniel S. Dunlap, developer; Louise M. DuVall, attorney; Bernard E. McCune, chief financial officer of Kylcor Development; Sheila Pokras, Long Beach Superior Court judge; Christopher Pook, president of the Long Beach Grand Prix Assn.; Joseph F. Prevratil, president of Wrather Port Properties Ltd., and Tony Tortorice, associate director of corporate relations for the USC Office of Development Engineering.

In keeping with recommendations adopted by the City Council to enable the symphony to resume performing, the current 33-member symphony board chose five of its members to sit on the new executive board. Those members are Porter; Margie Masterson, first vice president of the original symphony board; Gordon Lentzner, treasurer; Patricia Z. Sonnenberg, secretary; and Mary Saatjian, second vice president.

According to Mary Newkirk, symphony director of development, the original board will hold a special meeting Tuesday to ratify these new directors and executive board members.

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