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Troy Savings Bank Music Hall and Troy Chromatic Concerts merge

Troy Savings Bank Music Hall - view of empty stage from balcony

The Troy Savings Bank Music Hall and Troy Chromatic Concerts have merged.

Since 1894 Troy Chromatic Concerts has been presenting live classical music performances. In 1918 the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall became its sole venue. The two entities say they have cemented their collaboration in the continued interest to bring musical "programs of the highest caliber for the enjoyment of local audiences."

Jon Elbaum is Executive Director of the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall. He says the venue is perfectly suited to the chamber orchestras, ensembles and soloists that Troy Chromatic Concerts has featured.

“We have been providing some administrative and marketing support to the Chromatics for several years," Elbaum said. "As an all-volunteer organization, I think they've faced a lot of challenges as the music industry has changed so much in the last few years. So we've been able to do that. And now we've kind of expanded that role into a greater financial management and then ultimately will include booking as well.”

Board President of the Troy Chromatic Concerts Karl Moschner say the two groups held initial conversations about merging more than a year ago:

"Troy Chromatics has in the years, certainly more recently, over the last 20 years, taken advantage of the services of the Music Hall to an ever greater extent, in order to better provide services to our audience and also the artists when they visit, and picked up, takes up the slack in the in the ability of the board of Troy Chromatics to provide that kind of needed professional service," said Moschner. "And so, and then it evolved because of COVID. Also, that is the best solution we thought, or the board thought the board of Troy Chromaticss would be to actually merge with the Troy Music Hall."

Elbaum says Troy Music Hall is always open to collaboration, but is not seeking any further mergers.

On the coattails of the pandemic and under the stress of inflation Elbaum says the venue pressing on.

“It's a very tough time, frankly," said Elbaum. I think there's still a still a certain percentage of audiences who are uncomfortable, you know, coming back to a lot of shows. And so we're trying to evaluate that. There's certainly a lot of issues around that are concerning in terms of financial sustainability. We're thankful that many of our donors and sponsors have stayed with us. And, you know, we're looking to present a full season and are hopeful and optimistic that we can, that we can bring our audience's back and that they will continue to support arts and culture here in the Capital Region.”

Moschner says the Music Hall is a “wonderful place...”

“…that has in the past been threatened by closure for various reasons. Fire Code issues and and when the bank when the original Troy Savings Bank went through sales to other organizations and things and the bank at the time, actually didn't take very good steps to protect the building. And we also in that sense, by joining forces are hoping to also secure the building as a fine performance venue into the future.

The next Chromatic show on Thursday October 13th will feature the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. Both organizations have been WAMC underwriters.

More: troymusichall.org

Dave Lucas is WAMC’s Capital Region Bureau Chief. Born and raised in Albany, he’s been involved in nearly every aspect of local radio since 1981. Before joining WAMC, Dave was a reporter and anchor at WGY in Schenectady. Prior to that he hosted talk shows on WYJB and WROW, including the 1999 series of overnight radio broadcasts tracking the JonBenet Ramsey murder case with a cast of callers and characters from all over the world via the internet. In 2012, Dave received a Communicator Award of Distinction for his WAMC news story "Fail: The NYS Flood Panel," which explores whether the damage from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee could have been prevented or at least curbed. Dave began his radio career as a “morning personality” at WABY in Albany.