Honolulu Symphony Debuts New Season Despite Money Crisis - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Honolulu Symphony Debuts New Season Despite Money Crisis

Iggy Jang Iggy Jang
Susan Spangler Susan Spangler
Tom Gulick Tom Gulick
Andreas Delfs Andreas Delfs

By Mari-Ela David

HONOLULU (KHNL) -- The music will go on. Despite the Honolulu Symphony's financial problems, the orchestra refuses to let money problems upstage their performance. The Honolulu Symphony held an open rehearsal at the Neal Blaisdell Concert Hall on Wednesday for donors and friends who have shown support during the symphony's crisis.

They're making a bold statement without saying a word. The Honolulu Symphony prepares for its new season despite a shaky budget that's left musicians without a paycheck at times.

"If there's a meaning to my own personal life, it's about making music, sharing my emotions. Music is often stronger than words and that's what keeps me going," said musician Iggy Jang.

"I think they are wonderful to take all the abuse that we have given them the past few years, cutting their salaries, cutting cutting cutting," said symphony board member Susan Spangler.

The Honolulu Symphony has received $600,000 in donations. A few weeks ago, $4 million stuck in the Legislature finally made its way to the symphony's endowment fund.

"We're still several weeks behind in paying musicians although we've been able to not have the gap widened further," said executive director Tom Gulick.

But these musicians refuse to let financial troubles leave a sour note.

"They have families to feed, they have rent to pay but the resilience of this orchestra and the willingness to stay in this community and to sit through the hard times and to work through hard times is quite amazing," said conductor Andreas Delfs.

Gulick says they don't have enough money to finish the rest of the season, but they have enough spirit to drown out their worries with every beat, note, and chord they play.

The symphony hopes ticket sales and donations will help pay for the season. There's also a bill in the Senate this session calling for $800,000 to cover the symphony's operating costs.

The Honolulu Symphony's first concert is Sunday.

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