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Norwalk Symphony Expands Concert Into Fundraiser

The Norwalk Symphony has expanded its concert Saturday into a gala that will include a pre-show event on the front lawn of City Hall. Norwalk Symphony president Emil Albanese said the funds raised from the gala will be used for restructuring.

The symphony had cancelled its season when Albanese became president in January, but the new leader refused to let the music fade.

"I felt that we had a schedule for this concert and we were not cancelling our season," Albanese said of Saturday’s event. "So why not turn it into something that will put us back in the public's eye again and highlight the talents of our musicians?"

Some restructuring options discussed by the symphony include hiring a new musical director and expanding the Board of Governors. Albanese said Kathy Jones, a local businesswoman, has already joined the board and made a contribution to the gala. The symphony has also spoken to three other potential new board members.

The concert will feature Jorge Caballero and his wife Maria Conti, who is also the Norwalk Symphony's assistant concertmaster. The duo will visit several Norwalk public schools this week to teach students how to play classical guitar. Their first stop will be the Brookside School on Wednesday at 1:45 p.m., where Mayor Richard A. Moccia will greet them.

The symphony's corporate secretary, Kathryn Hebert said the group received a grant for the gala because the event had an educational component to it. She said she hopes the event will help the symphony grow.

"We want to expand the market base to open it up to other populations, age groups and people that wouldn't normally go to listen to a symphony," Hebert said.

Albanese, too, said the gala is an opportunity for the symphony to link with the community.

"We have to start from someplace," Albanese said. "I'll be happy to make some money and a lot of friends. Friends will eventually bring money."

Have you attended a concert at the Norwalk Symphony? Will you support the symphony through this or other fundraisers? Comment below, or on Facebook or Twitter @DailyNorwalk .

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