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Current BSO foundation board won’t be able to attract new funders

Baltimore Symphony Orchestra oboist Michael Lisicky, conveyed a message to Gov. Larry Hogan as fellow members of the brass section played music as they staged a protest at the State House. The musicians want to send a message to Gov. Hogan asking him to release $1.6 million in state funding to the BSO.

The article on the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra endowment (“Shaky BSO finances leave endowment chiefs skittish about forking over cash, pondering orchestra’s successor,” July 10) raises two questions.

The first: Since the Meyerhoff family recently received no response to its $4 million challenge grant offered through personal contact to several Baltimore millionaires and large foundations, and given the overall lack of philanthropic support for the orchestra since its inception, can we be optimistic about the prospect, as reporter Mary McCauley suggests, of “finding philanthropists willing to bankroll this costly enterprise?"

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Second: The remaining six members of the endowment trust board, as defined by the trust agreement, are to be “members of the community who are neither officers, directors, nor employees of the symphony.” Although the current six members of the board named in the article do not serve in violation of this requirement, all are previous members of the BSO board. Can they be totally objective when making decisions?

In order to gain the full faith and trust of donors, especially philanthropists who might be willing to help bankroll the symphony, it would seem appropriate that the six members of the endowment trust board meet the full requirements, as does endowment chairman Chris Bartlett, of no previous association with the operation and management of the BSO.

Richard A. Disharoon

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