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Sunday May 24th, 2015 1:19AM

GSO says goodbye

By Derreck Booth Anchor/reporter
GAINESVILLE - Calling it a sad day, the Board of Directors of the Gainesville Symphony Orchestra Thursday announced the 30 year old organization would cease to exist.

Vanessa Hyatt-Fugate, Vice President of the organization, said donations dropped by 50 percent at the start of the recession in 2008. While it was tough, she said they didn't want to quit then.

"You know, when an organization has been in business that long, and has been such a vital part of the community for that length of time, you don't want to just close the doors," Hyatt-Fugate said.

"We made every effort to save the GSO, but in the end, we did not have enough public support to save it."

Hyatt-Fugate said they've left the door open for a new orchestra to hopefully emerge some day. The GSO percussion equipment remains at Brenau University, ready for play.

She said GSO's most popular event, the annual patriot pops concert in July, has been picked up by Northwinds Symphonic Band, led by Ron Evans.

"Those people that are in the habit of this is their yearly tradition, I don't want them to go to Brenau and expect a concert, because it isn't going to be there," Hyatt-Fugate said.

The new venue is the Smithgall Arts Center, according to Hyatt-Fugate.

As the GSO bids farewell, Hyatt-Fugate thanked the many involved over the years.

"We wish to thank the wonderful players who made such great music for so many years; our Director, Lorne Green; Brenau University, one of our significant supporters; and those lovers of great music in North Georgia who supported the GSO over the years. We hope that a new orchestra can re-emerge at some point in the future. The people of Gainesville and North Georgia deserve it!"
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