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Long Beach Symphony Loan Waived

January 08, 1987|MARC SHULGOLD

The Long Beach City Council has waived $100,000 of a $175,000 loan it had made to the Long Beach Symphony in January, 1983, to ease a financial crisis that nearly killed the orchestra.

The waiver was made "in recognition of the fact that we should be playing," orchestra general manager Mary Newkirk said Wednesday. "The council knew that all the money for repaying (previously agreed at $12,500 every three months) was coming out of our ability to provide artistic programming."

Newkirk said that George Murchison, president of the Long Beach Symphony Assn., had made the request of the council because "we would rather be spending the money for making music."

Over the years, the orchestra had accumulated a deficit that by 1985 stood at more than $580,000--forcing the cancellation of all but two events in the 1984-85 season. Since then, however, the organization reportedly has made strides toward solvency. Last year, the debt was reduced by nearly $300,000.

Newkirk said that support from the Long Beach community has been especially strong, noting that in the first six months of fiscal 1986-87 the amount of individual contributions exceeded the full-year goal of $92,000 by $14,000.

"This is a clear confirmation from the people of the community that they believe in what we're doing," she said. "All of our concerts have been sold out this season," including the Mozart program scheduled for tonight at the Terrace Theater.

The only condition that accompanied the council's 7-0 vote of confidence Tuesday is that the orchestra expand its community outreach program, something the organization has already been committed to doing, Newkirk said.

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