June 14, 2010
I have heard widespread support for the proposed Gaillard Center, and I share that support with great enthusiasm.
I have also heard some people wonder whether we should focus more on saving our symphony than building a new performance hall.
As one who has dedicated his professional life to the Charleston Symphony Orchestra, I can say categorically that a new performance hall is absolutely essential to the symphony's future.
And the timing circumstances surrounding Gaillard Center are so propitious, that it would be crazy not to seize this opportunity. Can you imagine another time when construction costs will be less than they have been, and less than they will be?
Can you imagine another time when an anonymous donor will offer a generous gift, helping lead a campaign to raise half the cost of this vital facility from private contributions?
For those of us who love the Charleston Symphony Orchestra, this moment is precious and may never occur again.
More than 40 years ago, Gaillard Auditorium was built as an all-purpose facility, hosting everything from circuses to stand-up comedians. It simply does not possess the quality of acoustics, facilities and audience experience that people expect today. I am confident that the auditorium's inadequacies contributed to declining symphony concert attendance.
Our beloved symphony could have no greater gift, no more significant contribution, than the realization of the recently announced Gaillard Center proposal. I encourage all who love our symphony to join me in its support.
Charleston Symphony Orchestra