September 26, 2016
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contacts: Mike Gantenbein, Director of Marketing: 541-690-3849
Britt revenues up for 2016 season, looks forward to new improvements in 2017
MEDFORD, OR — Boosted by ideal concert weather, the 2016 Britt season saw a solid response from the community, with steady ticket sales, strong membership support, and new Business Partnerships. Britt will continue to build on this momentum with new projects planned for 2017.
“In recent years the Board and staff have taken a progressive approach to our artist bookings, capital improvements and concessions. And these investments are paying off because they have enhanced the Britt Experience,” says Britt President & CEO Donna Briggs. “We are working hard to develop standards and meet the expectations that our patrons have come to value. With this in mind, Britt will be making a sizeable capital investment in our upper concessions area and will be introducing exciting new food options to include some of your favorite local eateries next year.”
Out of 45 concerts performed on Britt’s main stage and in the Performance Garden, overall attendance was over 64,000, with an average attendance of 1720 patrons per main stage concert. Ten concerts sold out completely. Overall attendance numbers are up compared to previous years, which have been averaging around 60,000 since 2011.
Use of the Britt Performance Garden increased in 2016. This stage is used for pre-show entertainment before main stage performances and for the free Children’s Orchestral Concert Series. The Children’s Concert Series proved to be a big hit this year, providing six morning concerts in August, reaching a total audience of 1,350 children and parents.
Overall, ticket sales cover just 60% of Britt’s operating expenses on average for the Pop Season, and 33% for the Orchestra Season. As a non-profit organization, Britt relies on contributed income to cover the gap. Business Partners contributed $298,000 this year, a 22% increase over 2015, and a record breaking number for the fifth year in a row. Grant funding through foundations continues to grow and support our operations and expanding education programs.
In the 2016 Britt Orchestra Season, Music Director Teddy Abrams led the orchestra in seven main stage performances, plus an unprecedented world premiere at Crater Lake National Park. Six panoramic crater rim performances of Natural History, a work by composer Michael Gordon and commissioned by Britt to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the National Park Service, included members of Steiger Butte Drum, 30 brass players and percussionists from SOU, U of O and the local community, and a 50-voice choir. In addition, the Orchestra Season was also highlighted by a performance of Mahler’s “Resurrection” Symphony No. 2 in C minor, featuring vocalists Celena Shafer and Tamara Mumford, as well as the Rogue Valley Chorale and the Southern Oregon Repertory Singers. Britt also featured soloists Ray Chen, Jeremy Denk, Hallie Loren and Yefim Bronfman. It was a big season for the Britt Orchestra, enjoyed by over 8,500 audience members.
Britt’s Education programs expanded in 2016. Our in-school residency program presented eight different music ensembles to 23 schools, reaching over 750 students. Through this program, groups such as the Oregon Wind Quintet served a variety of Jackson and Josephine county schools ranging from kindergarten through graduate studies. We also launched the Orchestral Fellowship program, which bridges the gap for graduating university music performance majors as they begin their performing careers. This program pairs students with members of the Britt Orchestra, allowing them to experience working in a real-world setting with world-class musicians and conductors. Expect to see more growth in all of these programs plus the Children’s Concert Series in the coming year.
The Britt membership drive for 2017 is underway, and the public can learn more about how to support Britt at www.brittfest.org
Inspired by its intimate and scenic hillside venue, Britt provides diverse live performances, an incomparable classical festival and dynamic education programs that create a sense of discovery and community. Since its grassroots beginnings in 1963, the non-profit organization has grown from a two-week chamber music festival into a summer-long series of concerts in a variety of genres, including a three-week Orchestra Season, and year-round education and engagement programs. For more information, visit brittfest.org.