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Concert Artists of Baltimore shutting down after 31 years

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Concert Artists of Baltimore, a professional orchestra and chorus led by founding artistic director Edward Polochick, is folding after 31 years of performing a richly varied repertoire with distinction throughout the area.

Barry F. Williams, president of Concert Artists, said Wednesday that financial struggles led to the move by the board of directors to shut down.

“It was a very emotional decision that was not easy to make,” Williams said.

That decision was not entirely surprising. Last season, a 30th anniversary gala concert had to be postponed due to difficulty raising money to cover costs; the rescheduled gala, which was to have taken place May 12, was also canceled.

“Although the program promised to be an exciting, musically brilliant one, it was not financially affordable,” the board said in a statement sent to the musicians.

The final scheduled performance by Concert Artists is July 10 for the National Association of Pastoral Musicians Convention at the Basilica of the Assumption in Baltimore.

The choral component of the organization will still be assembled, as previously planned, to participate in the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s annual performance of Handel’s “Messiah” conducted by Polochick in December.

“It’s been a good run,” Polochick said. “There is a pool of exceedingly bright artists in this area, and there have been some pretty great performances in those 31 years. But we reached the point where we couldn’t continue it. There are not deep enough pockets in the community to sustain this.”

Williams said he still hoped that Concert Artists “can be resurrected” someday if sufficient funding can be obtained.

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