April 2, 2013
COPY BY: Rana McDonald, 806-651-2129, firstname.lastname@example.org
WTAMU Officials Working to Save HSQ Funding
CANYON, Texas—Officials at West Texas A&M University are wondering what will become of the University’s more than 30-year partnership with the Amarillo Symphony Orchestra after the Symphony announced its plan to cut all funding for the Harrington String Quartet (HSQ).
“The University and the Symphony have worked together since the early 80s to fulfill the cultural, educational, artistic and economic benefits that were embedded in the creation of the Harrington String Quartet,” Dr. J. Patrick O’Brien, WTAMU president, said. “This change caught us by surprise, but we believe in the value of the Quartet and in the mission behind the gift from Mrs. Harrington, so we will begin working toward solutions that will keep the Quartet intact.”
The Symphony’s announcement to discontinue all HSQ funding means nearly half of the Quartet’s funding will disappear.
“Without this support, the Harrington String Quartet will cease to exist as a part of the symphony,” Dr. Jessica Mallard, dean of WTAMU’s Sybil B Harrington College of Fine Arts, said. “We believe there was a gift to the Amarillo Symphony from the Harrington Foundation to support the ongoing activities of the Quartet, and we are pursuing all possible avenues to have this support reinstated.”
The Harrington String Quartet was established in the early 1980s by two gifts from the Harrington Foundation. The first, in 1980, was a $400,000 gift to the Amarillo Symphony. The second, in 1981, was a $500,000 gift to WT. In 2009, an updated memorandum of understanding between the Amarillo Symphony, the University and the Harrington Foundation reaffirmed the annual financial support of each organization and outlined the breakdown of administrative functions to be performed by each entity.
“Our commitment and responsibility to each of our donors is to honor and maintain the purpose of their gifts,” O’Brien said. “Mrs. Harrington made the objective and intent of this gift perfectly clear, and our focus will continue to be on fulfilling her wishes and extending her incredible legacy.”
Members of the Harrington String Quartet—Rossitza Jekova-Goza, violin, Dr. Keith Redpath, violin, Vesselin Todorov, viola, and Emmanuel Lopez, cello—are members of the string faculty at WTAMU.