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RPO Shares Good News at Annual Meeting

January 10, 2008

“Realizing the Vision – Year Two” reports on 2006-07 operating budget, second year’s strategic plan results and election of new board members

Rochester, NY– At its Annual Meeting on Tuesday, January 9, the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra reported the results of its Fiscal Year 2006-07 ending August 31, 2007.  The meeting took place at Kilbourn Hall at the Eastman School of Music and was followed by a reception at Max of Eastman Place.

“Realizing the Vision – Year Two” was the theme of the Meeting: the second-year implementation of the RPO’s strategic plan. The Meeting opened with a musical fanfare performed by the RPO Brass Quintet followed by the 2006-2007 Season in Review, presentation of the audited financial statements for FY07, election of new board members, a look toward the future, education and volunteer reports, presentation of awards and the artistic message.  Questions and answers followed prior to adjournment.

Board Chair James Boucher introduced the meeting, reviewing the 2006-2007 Season which he described is as “successful and dynamic” and also one of “significant change.” Highlights included:

  • selection and hiring of Charles Owens as the RPO’s new President & CEO
  • completion of the $10 million endowment New Century Campaign
  • positive impact of investment in staff infrastructure
  • operating surplus of $240,950
  • more than 9% increase in earned revenue over the previous year
  • generous contributions to the Annual Campaign by the RPO Board and Honorary Board, up $150,000 over three years
  • collaboration with the Eastman School of Music and the University of Rochester on the upcoming Eastman Theatre renovation and expansion
  • early contract renewals by Music Director Christopher Seaman and Principal Pops Conductor Jeff Tyzik
  • The huge commercial and critical success of the Gershwin CD – on the Billboard charts for 29 weeks, and selling more than 10,000 copies – and other artistic highlights

Boucher was followed by a financial report by Elizabeth F. Rice, RPO Treasurer.  Rice reported that the 2006-2007 Season had a membership and contribution growth of 11%, programming investments were made possible through increased revenues, careful management of expenses as revenues grew enabled an operating surplus, and noted a generous one-time gift of the Gleason Foundation.

Other activity reports during the 2000-06 Season were made by David Ackroyd, Chair, Education and Outreach Committee; and David Meyer, House Manager on behalf of Anne Selgas, Chair of the Volunteer Services Committee.  President and CEO Charles Owens spoke about the look ahead to the future with five goals in mind: developing resources to achieve Music Director Christopher Seaman’s artistic vision; building a world-wide audience; examining and enhancing the education programs; engaging the community; and capitalizing on the upcoming renovations and expansion of the Eastman Theatre. 

Owens also announced the results of the special 85th Anniversary $285,000 Challenge Fund, with the RPO receiving $292,000 in new and increased gifts.  In addition, he shared news of Bank of America’s “extraordinary commitment” of $50,000 to help fund Honor: An American Salute, the RPO’s next recording project.  Owens recognized the many years of service of Interim Education Director Josephine Whang with an award for Outstanding Contribution, and presented plaques to four RPO musicians with 40 or more years of service: violinist Janice Macisak, violist Elizabeth Seka, retiring cellist Robert Taylor and double-bassist Robert Zimmerman.

Principal Pops Conductor Jeff Tyzik spoke of the Orchestra’s many artistic successes which included: the season opener with violinist Sarah Chang; the Gershwin CD with Jon Nakamatsu and the release of A Holiday Celebration; new collaborations with Camp Good Days and Special Times and the Sphinx Organization; continued CMAC summer residency and Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival with the New York Philharmonic and the Philadelphia Orchestra; “Search for a Star” contest debut for talented high school musicians; and the addition of a first-ever third performance due to audience demand for the Friends and Love concert.

Tyzik also read the following comments from Music Director Christopher Seaman, who is currently out of the country: “As we look back at our 2006-2007 Season, we can take pride in the fact that our great tradition of world-class music-making is being maintained and enhanced. The talent and dedication of our musicians, the commitment of our board and wonderful staff, and the community pride in the Orchestra have all come together to produce great concerts, healthy ticket sales and a strong financial position. This is an exciting time to be in Rochester, especially if you are involved with our great Orchestra!”

The membership of the RPO recognized retiring board members and elected new members at the meeting.

Retiring Board Members:

Robert DiLutis, RPO Clarinetist
Roger B. Friedlander, Retired President, Spectrum Office Products; Retired Vice President, Staples, Inc.
John H. Pattison, Partner, Harter, Secrest & Emery LLP
David M. Schraver, Partner, Nixon Peabody LLP
Brian B. Wirth, CEO, CURE Childhood Cancer Association

Newly Elected Board Members:

Kathleen Murphy Kemp, RPO Assistant Principal Cello
Paula H. Pattison, Principal Scientist & Quality Engineer, Ortho Clinical Diagnostics

Re-Elected Board Members:

Dr. Sarah Atkinson, Director, Finger Lakes Clinical Research
James M. Boucher, Chief Business Development Officer and Chairman of the Board, Caldwell Manufacturing Company
William Eggers, Senior Counsel, Nixon Peabody LLP
Edward L. Fiandach, Attorney, Fiandach & Fiandach
Ann M. Huston, President, Ann Huston Corporation
Eric Paley, Attorney, Nixon Peabody LLP


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