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Volume 26, Number 4 — April 2019

Artful Giving: Symphony of the Mountains, Kingsport, Tenn.

Symphony of the Mountains musicians hail from throughout the region. Inset right: Executive Director Zane Myers.
Symphony of the Mountains musicians hail from throughout the region. Inset right: Executive Director Zane Myers.


Executive Director Zane Myers says:

Symphony of the Mountains (SOTM) has had a 40% decline in season ticket sales from last year. Our contributed income, however, is rising. Contributions in FY2009 increased 24% from FY2008 and contributions year-to-date (FY2010) are up as well.

SOTM receives no federal funding. General Operating Support (GOS) from the Tennessee Arts Commission (TAC) increased marginally for FY2010. We have been notified, however, that we should anticipate a reduction in GOS from the TAC for FY2011.

Our current financial condition can be described as stable. We have very little variance in administrative and production expenses, continue to solicit new sources of contributed income, and have an endowment fund that we can use for any extraordinary expenses that are incurred.

To date, SOTM has not had to make adjustments due to reduced funding. We have not reduced administrative or artistic staff. However, we may consider producing "run-out" concerts (the same concert program performed in different cities) to reduce production expenses. SOTM's concert budgets currently range from $25,000 to $50,000 each, with an average of $37,500.

SOTM has not reduced either the number or scale of concerts that we produce. Our programming philosophy has been and will continue to be to produce a variety of regional, national and international genres of classical and popular symphonic, choral and chamber music.

The Symphony maintains an aggressive fundraising strategy. Whether the macro-economic environment is good or bad, we are vigilant in prospecting for new money. SOTM remains firmly committed to the development of new markets, particularly Virginia, with both our concert and educational divisions. As such, new donor cultivation and donor retention remains our highest priority.

How You Can Help

The community can help in many different capacities, but perhaps the most basic is to discover that magic of live performance. There is no other way to experience a symphony orchestra other than being in the concert hall as the sound waves literally move through one's body. As a dear friend of mine once said, "Zane, standing next to a symphony orchestra is like riding in a Boeing-747 with the windows rolled down."

For more information, call 423-392-8423 or visit

William King Museum, Abingdon, Va.