<•Byline>By Tony Baughman </•Byline> <•byline 2>Staff Writer </•byline 2>
If you capture children when theyre at that age and you put this interest in them, were hoping that these are going to be our future symphony-goers, said Ligon. Even if they never take up an instrument, we hope they will love to attend performances.Such dedication to spreading the gospel of symphonic music takes time and money. The Guild accepts only 175 members under its charter, but each is expected to volunteer during the season.In addition, the Guild offers sponsorship opportunities for individuals and corporations. The financial support is particularly important because ticket sales simply do not cover the costs of staging each Aiken concert.We have to be very realistic about what we can charge, but that does not pay for the production, Ligon said. We pay $8,000 or $9,000 a night for a guest performer. We pay for that whole orchestra sitting up there. We pay for the rental of the Etherredge Center. You end up with a rather large cost.In addition to its September concert, the Aiken Symphony Guild will present the Augusta Symphonys Holiday Pops on Saturday, Dec. 15, with the New York Voices vocal group and a Masterworks concert featuring pianist Olga Kern on Saturday, March 1, 2008.For more information on the Aiken Symphony Guild, call the Etherredge Center at 641-3305 or visit the Augusta Symphony website at www.augustasymphony.org.