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Albany Symphony Orchestra makes big season return with $10k GCA grant

FILE- Albany Symphony Orchestra
FILE- Albany Symphony Orchestra(WALB)
Published: Jul. 24, 2021 at 12:18 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 24, 2021 at 3:19 PM EDT
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ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - The Albany Symphony Orchestra (ASO) is ready for a big return after being sidelined because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

ASO is planning a full season of concerts with the help of a grant from the Georgia Council for the Arts (GCA), a division of the Georgia Department of Economic Development.

A total of 218 organizations were awarded 266 grants, totaling more than $2 million in funding to arts organizations throughout the state. ASO is one of 135 organizations to receive a Bridge Grant for operating support.

“As we emerge from this past year’s quarantine, the arts sector is vital to restarting the economy by attracting tourists, assisting with classroom learning, and igniting events to bring communities back together,” said GCA Executive Director Tina Lilly. “The 266 grants we have awarded will help cities and organizations leverage additional funds and bring people back to work while providing fun and educational opportunities for Georgians across the state.”

ASO will use its $10,000 Bridge Grant to help fund its 2021-22 season.

“After a year during which we could not host in-person performances, we are looking forward to an exciting season that will include four major concerts, as well as additional smaller performances and events,” said ASO Board President Judge Louis Sands. “We have put together a truly exciting calendar of concerts that will appeal to a large cross-section of people, and we are extremely grateful for the support of the Georgia Council for the Arts that will allow us to help improve the quality of life in our community through art and entertainment,” Judge Sands added.

ASO is planning an event on Saturday, Aug. 21 at Thronateeska Heritage Center to unveil its upcoming concert season and celebrate its return to live performances.

“The Albany Symphony Orchestra has been a vital part of our community for nearly 60 years. We only exist because of the generosity of donors, sponsors, and organizations like the Georgia Council for the Arts, and we have appreciated their support more than ever through these recent challenging times,” said ASO Music Director and Conductor Claire Fox Hillard. “Though we were able to host a virtual Peppermint Pops performance last year, we know our patrons have missed the opportunity to experience concerts in person, and our musicians certainly have missed performing. We’re ready for a grand return to the stage.”

You can find tickets for next month’s season kickoff celebration and upcoming concerts on the ASO website.

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