The San Antonio Symphony will survive its 2017-2018 season thanks in part to a funding agreement passed by city council Thursday.
It's been a tumultuous season for the San Antonio Symphony. The end of 2017 brought angry musicians head on with the new nonprofit running its operations, the Symphonic Music for San Antonio (SMSA). The musicians wanted to negotiate a new contract, but the two sides couldn't seem to agree on terms.
Finally, SMSA stepped aside and handed operations back over to the Symphony Society of San Antonio, or SSSA, that had been running the symphony since 1939.
Even that couldn't prevent the symphony board from voting to cancel the rest of the season two weeks ago.
Thursday, the Symphony received some good news. The City Council voted to give the almost $370,000 it had set aside for the Symphony directly to the Tobin Center so that the symphony could finish its season.
"Today we're working to live to fight another day, right behind today, tomorrow we will be working on building an endowment," Kathleen Vale, the Symphony Society of San Antonio's chairwoman, said.
Friday, the County Commissioners Court will vote on a challenge grant that will match all donations to the Symphony, up to $350,000.
"People I think realize that the symphony plays such an important role in our city. In fact, I'd ask you to just meet some of the musicians, go to a symphony, I think you'll realize that they're so connected with our education program, they're so connected in the community," City Councilman Roberto Trevino said.
The SSSA has modified the musicians' contracts and extended them for the rest of the season. They're confident that with both public and private support, including a recent flood of donations from the community, the San Antonio Symphony will continue to play for generations to come.