July Fourth 2023 FAQ

Q. Will the symphony perform at the Eastern Promenade for the 4th of July this year?
In past years, the symphony has been hired by event organizers to perform for the 4th of July. At this point, the PSO has not heard anything from the group presenting this year’s event so it is unlikely the symphony will perform. However, the PSO will be presenting its own concert, A Stars & Stripes Celebration, on July 1st at 2:30 pm at the Seaside Pavilion in Old Orchard Beach.

Q. Why doesn’t the symphony just perform for free?
There are fixed costs involved in performing, including paying our 65 musicians. The stage alone is a considerable expense, as is the sound required to amplify the orchestra, the lighting, and then there is the question of the location, permits, security, and many other details.

Q. Why does the symphony cost so much money to perform?
The payment for the July 4th concert covered direct costs only. The PSO did not make a profit from the concert. Direct expenses include compensating 65 musicians at their union rate for the rehearsal and the concert, plus musician travel, music purchase/rental, and, as the program requires, guest soloists and more.

Q. Why doesn’t the symphony just add the expense to its budget?
The expenses involved in the production are considerable; in addition to the actual costs for the orchestra, the event organizers have historically paid for the construction of a stage, lighting, sound, and more. Like many performing arts organizations, the PSO faces challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic and is not in a financial position to cover the expenses for the 4th of July performance.

Q. How can you say you support community when your concerts are so expensive?
Our musicians do perform in the community, and the PSO pays them to do so. For our Summer Concert series at Old Orchard Beach, we’ve kept all of our ticket prices below $50. The symphony offers Discovery Concerts, which are $10 per ticket for families to enjoy a symphonic experience for less than the cost of a movie ticket. We also bring programming into the public school system through the PSO Explorers program and offering performances of Kinderkonzerts.