IRVINE — Listeners who have been curious about the Pacific Symphony but haven't been able or willing to buy a ticket now have another option. Beginning Thursday, the orchestra's concerts at the Orange County Performing Arts Center will be broadcast live over KUSC-FM (91.5).
The concerts are the first programs to be broadcast on a regular basis from the Costa Mesa facility, although KUSC carried the Los Angeles Philharmonic concert that opened the center in 1986.
"We're thrilled about the exposure and what it means to us, especially in such an important market," the orchestra's executive director, Louis G. Spisto, said Monday. "This is an opportunity to have the orchestra heard by many more people than come to the hall and by (the) many people throughout the Southern California area" that KUSC's signal reaches. The Pacific's entire nine-concert 1992-93 series will be broadcast as part of the station's regular evening concert programs at 8 p.m. on Thursdays.
Spisto said the orchestra has been working on the KUSC broadcast deal for about two years. He estimated that the series will cost $9,000, including payments to the musicians and "minimal production costs." The orchestra expects to announce an underwriter for these costs within two months, he said.
"Neither KUSC nor the Pacific Symphony will be making money; (we're) just having our costs covered," Spisto said.
KUSC broadcast concerts in Los Angeles by the L.A. Philharmonic from 1978 until 1989, but they were tape-delayed. The orchestra then switched for two seasons to KCRW FM (89.9) in Santa Monica. Currently its concerts are not being broadcast.
KUSC general manager Wallace Smith said Monday that he is particularly pleased to be carrying the concerts live because "radio is at its best when it's covering live events."
"Part of the excitement in a live event is that it is performed without the benefit of that safety net of a good editor. No one wants to have their mistakes broadcast, but it makes it a much more human experience . . . "
After Thursday's inaugural broadcast, the series will continue on Nov. 12, Dec. 10, Feb. 4, March 11, April 1, April 22, May 13 and June 3.