One of Boston’s best Chamber Orchestras has had to close its doors for good. The Discovery Ensemble- conducted by Courtney Lewis- has made countless appearances on Boston’s PBS radio WGBH and Harvard Sanders Theatre. The orchestra was a refreshingly young group of professional musicians with tremendous ability which frequently brought praise to individuals in the Boston Music Intelligencer’s reviews.
Probably the most noteworthy mission of the ensemble was represented in the numerous outreach concerts spent connecting with youth in Boston’s Dorchester neighborhood schools. Outreach concerts offer a way to expose a new generation to the artistic beauty of classical music. The concert also allows students to view the orchestra in a more intimate context.
In a release given on July 23rd Courtney Lewis thanked the board and the donors:
“… I am very proud of the work we have done over the last six years introducing many school children to the power of classical music. Thank you to our loyal audience and our many generous donors.”
Declining audience and support for the arts is prevalent in the United States and the Discovery Ensemble faced a casualty that many orchestras have and still face: shrinking audience and supply of donors. With the rise in costs, orchestras like the Discovery Ensemble have become rarer.
It’s also important to note Boston has a unique issue in classical music of having a lot of orchestras in one place and among them one of the most prolific and oldest orchestras in the nation. The market for having an orchestra in Boston is a tough, especially for a younger and smaller one. Nevertheless, the results are concerning as more and more of these orchestras face thinning audiences and generally lower participation in the arts.
There’s never been a better time to support your local symphony and the future of classical music.