Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

WSO in the black for fifth year in a row

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The Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra is in a harmonious financial position.

At its annual general meeting this week, the orchestra announced that it is free of all debt and has posted a small operating surplus of $22,000 on a budget of about $7.6 million for the 2011-12 season.

It's the fifth consecutive surplus for the organization.

One of the proudest accomplishments of the season, the WSO said in a news release, was launching Sistema Winnipeg, a program modelled after the successful El Sistema program in Venezuela that seeks to create social change by teaching disadvantaged children to play stringed instruments.

WSO music director Alexander Mickelthwate, who has completed six seasons at the podium, has had his contract extended for another four years. The musicians' collective agreement has also been signed for the next four seasons.

Resident conductor Richard Lee has been appointed music director of the East Texas Symphony Orchestra, but will remain resident WSO conductor for the 2012-13 season, leading SoundBytes, Concerts for Kids and Pops shows.

President and board chair Dorothy Dobbie completed her term. Timothy Burt is the incoming chair.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 14, 2012 G2

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