An Augusta-based orchestra has withdrawn its request to officially represent a Columbia County venue after the proposition left some county musicians feeling slighted.
Symphony Orchestra Augusta initially wanted to become the official resident symphony of the Jabez Sanford Hardin Performing Arts Center inside the Columbia County Library.
County commissioners tabled the request in November after receiving phone calls and complaints from Columbia County Civic Orchestra members.
"Basically, I think it was a big misunderstanding from the beginning," county Community and Leisure Services Director Barry Smith said of the confusion that arose after conflicting statements were made in county documents.
"They wanted to be the resident symphony orchestra of the Jabez (Sanford) Hardin Performing Arts Center," he said. "I think the public thought it was for the whole county."
The symphony and county officials recently agreed to leave the issue be at this time.
"It was just a recognition in the fact that we've made that commitment to the hall and the series has been ongoing since the hall opened," said Symphony Orchestra Augusta Director Sandra Self.
Augusta's professional symphony holds the Columbia County Music Series at the performing arts center and POPS! Under the Stars at University Health Care System's Evans campus each year.
Self said the symphony is committed to the county and loves performing at the Evans center.
The designation was to be included in program books, announced at symphony functions, and posted outside the performing arts center.
"We didn't want to start anything," Self said. "We were just saying, 'Wouldn't this be nice?' It got all blown out of proportion."
Smith noted that the Symphony Orchestra Augusta performs consistently at the venue as does the Columbia County Ballet, which is named the resident ballet company of the performing arts center.
"I just thought it would have been a good gesture, but at this point, we'll just lay it to rest," he said. "They are a good-paying customer and I wanted to thank them for that."
Self believes the more musical opportunities that are offered to the public, the better.
"There's a place for all kinds of orchestras and ensembles," she said.
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