Monday, October 01, 2012
Roanoke Symphony Orchestra announces new alliance with Center in the Square
RSO will move its offices to the old Shenandoah Hotel building on Campbell Avenue.
Roanoke Symphony Orchestra Music Director David Stewart Wiley loves the idea of playing his piano in a storefront window.
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Wiley, also RSO’s conductor, will get to put that plan into practice. The symphony and Center in the Square announced at a press conference this morning that RSO will move to downtown Roanoke and will become one of Center’s member organizations.
In March, the symphony is scheduled to take up residence in the old Shenandoah Hotel building at Campbell Avenue and Williamson Road, which Center owns. RSO Executive Director Beth Pline said the organization will pay less in rent than it has at Jefferson Center, where the symphony’s offices are now, and the location will give RSO a visible downtown presence it’s never had before. Aside from Wiley’s window display, RSO will have a box office in its new home and will conduct classes.
The space currently serves as the temporary home for the History Museum of Western Virginia, which is expected to start moving back into Center’s main building by the market square in January. That building is closed for renovations. Center President and CEO Jim Sears said May 11 is the tentative grand re-opening date.
Member organizations in Center in the Square get to use Center’s spaces rent free or at a deep discount. Sears and Pline declined to discuss the specifics of RSO’s rent rate.
Jefferson Center Executive Director Cyrus Pace said that he and Pline have been discussing the move for months, and that he considers RSO’s new endeavor “good news.” He said RSO’s two suites at Jefferson Center, which total about 2,500 square feet, account for “about 8 percent of our total leasable space and we’re 100 percent leased right now.”
He said he believes there’s ample time to find another nonprofit to fill the vacancy. “We’ve got a couple of spaces that will available to another organization," he said.
Pline and Pace said that RSO will continue to perform at the Jefferson Center.
Art gallery One Block East, which opened in the Shenandoah Hotel beside the History Museum last year, will also be leaving at the end of December. Co-founder Debbie Stump said the gallery will move to another downtown location, though she couldn’t yet disclose where as details haven’t been finalized.
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