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Why SLO Symphony canceled Pops by the Sea

The San Luis Obispo Symphony's 2014 Pops by the Sea concert in Avila Beach featured Jon Anderson of the rock band Yes.
The San Luis Obispo Symphony's 2014 Pops by the Sea concert in Avila Beach featured Jon Anderson of the rock band Yes. ldickinson@thetribunenews.com

The San Luis Obispo Symphony's Pops by the Sea concert has not been profitable for four of the last five years, according to symphony spokeswoman Lisa Nauful.

That was among the key factors that led the nonprofit organization’s board of directors, staff and orchestra musicians to cancel the annual fundraiser, traditionally held on Labor Day weekend at Avila Beach Golf Resort.

It’s an expensive and labor-intensive event that is “no longer sustainable’’ when all costs are included — “musicians, event production, staff, conductor and program-related overhead expenses,” Nauful wrote in emails to The Tribune.

The symphony has been under in recent years, reporting a loss of $13,400 in the fiscal year ended June 30, 2014.

Nauful said the resignation last month of Sam Moore, who had served as stage manager of Pops by the Sea for 13 years, did not affect the decision to cancel the concert.

The symphony plans to present a New Year’s Eve Pops concert on Dec. 31 at the Performing Arts Center in San Luis Obispo. Postponing the Pops concert until then will give the group more time to focus on the 2015-16 concert season, Nauful said.

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