ST. PETERSBURG, FL – October 4, 2012 – The Florida Orchestra (TFO) has announced that it has received a grant from the Progress Energy Foundation for the 2012/13 season. This grant of $200,000 provides underwriting support for phase two of TFO’s Audience Development and Community Accessibility Initiative, an effort which began during the 2011/12 season.
The Audience Development and Community Accessibility Initiative is designed to increase the orchestra’s visibility and encourage broader community participation through three levels: lower ticket prices, new programming and packaging, and bold artistic initiatives. Goals for 2012/13 include adding 1,000 new subscribers; doubling the subscriber base for the Progress Energy Morning Masterworks Series, coordinating with district music supervisors to offer underserved middle and high school students the opportunity to attend performances at no cost, and acquiring 200 subscribers for the new Rock Series.
TFO Board Chairman Thomas H. Farquhar commented, “This generous grant from Progress Energy better enables us to embrace our mission to serve more people in the Tampa Bay region. Live symphonic music contributes to the quality of life and should be available to everyone in the community. We want to share the joy and excitement of a live orchestral performance with as many people as possible.”
Progress Energy Florida invests in a wide variety of local organizations and initiatives to add to the overall quality of life in the area it serves. Grants focus on education, the environment, economic development and employee involvement. During 2011, Progress Energy invested nearly $9 million in the communities it serves.
“We are happy to once again support The Florida Orchestra’s Accessibility Initiative,” said Melissa Seixas, Community Relations Manager. “TFO is an excellent partner, and we hope our communities will take advantage of the programs they have to offer.”
Last season, TFO introduced an initiative to open the orchestra to a broader audience by lowering ticket prices. All Tampa Bay Times Masterworks and Raymond James Pops concert ticket prices were reduced to $15, $30 and $45, which is a significant reduction from the previous range of $20 to $67. In 2011/12 TFO also added a new Morning Masterworks 3-concert series on Fridays at the Mahaffey Theater. Buyers who may have believed a ticket to the symphony was beyond their reach in the past, now find prices that begin to compete with the cost of going out to a movie.
TFO has also made season ticket purchases more customer-friendly with an eye toward the needs of today’s busy consumer. In addition to offering a variety of traditional Masterworks, Pops and Coffee packages rich with subscriber benefits, the orchestra has attracted new subscribers by focusing on a customized “Compose Your Own” series where concertgoers have the ultimate flexibility of creating their own package of any combination of Masterworks and Pops concerts at $25 per ticket.
TFO’s 2012/13 season opens on October 12 with concerts in Tampa, St. Petersburg and Clearwater. Information about TFO can be found at www.floridaorchestra.org.
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Progress Energy Florida, a subsidiary of Duke Energy, provides electricity and related services to more than 1.6 million customers in Florida. The company is headquartered in St. Petersburg, Fla., and provides approximately 10,000 megawatts of diverse electric generation to serve a territory encompassing more than 20,000 square miles, including the cities of St. Petersburg and Clearwater, as well as the Central Florida area surrounding Orlando.
In addition to the 14-concert Tampa Bay Times Masterworks series, The Florida Orchestra presents an 8-concert Raymond James Pops series. Both are performed in Tampa, St. Petersburg and Clearwater. There is also the 7-concert Coffee Concert series in St. Petersburg, 3-concert Coffee Concert series in Clearwater, and a new 3-concert Rock Series in St. Petersburg debuting on the 2012/13 season. In addition, there are a variety of free Pops in the Parks Concerts performed in parks around the Tampa Bay area and the Progress Energy Youth Concerts reaching thousands of 4th and 5th graders annually.