The idea behind the Corvallis-OSU Symphony Orchestra’s pair of concerts with trumpeter Chris Botti isn’t so much to make a bunch of money for the orchestra.
In fact, orchestra board members say, if the concerts wind up breaking even or making just a buck or two, they’ll be delighted.
Instead, the orchestra wanted to lure in a big-name guest artist largely to raise the orchestra’s profile in the community.
Botti, with his Oregon roots, was a good choice. In fact, the idea for next weekend’s concerts was hatched in some ways when some of the board members, attending a Botti concert in Portland, shared an elevator with the trumpeter.
“A year ago, when the idea first came up, I was a little skeptical,” said Ken Krane, president of the orchestra’s board of directors.
After all, the symphony’s board is made up of volunteers, and working with an artist like Botti adds levels of complexity: For one thing, the contracts suddenly get a lot thicker. And the technical demands are increased. (Mid-valley musician Rob Birdwell, with his extensive jazz experience, is conducting the orchestra for these concerts instead of music director Marlan Carlson.)
Nevertheless, the board “felt it was really important,” said Carol Mason, also a board member. She said board members still run into people who say, “I didn’t know we had an orchestra in Corvallis.”
And, in fact, Mason said, the work required to pull together the Botti concerts has helped pull the board together.
But don’t expect the board to immediately tackle its next big-name event.
“We’ll need to step back a little bit,” after the concerts, Krane said, and assess: “Was this a success?”