In a letter to members Nov. 16, the president of the Washington Idaho Symphony’s board of directors announced that the symphony’s executive director, conductor and music director, Jeremy Briggs Roberts, is on a leave of absence.
In the letter, President Rudy Greg Trejo said that plans for guest conductors would be announced soon and that the season would not be interpruted by Briggs Roberts’ leave, which took affect last Friday. Briggs Roberts has been in the position since 2009.
Trejo could not immediately be reached for comment by phone or email for further explanation.
The symphony is made up of 40 to 60 musicians, depending on the score, and is the only professional orchestra within an 80-mile radius. Each of its season concerts is performed in two cities, Pullman and either Clarkston or Lewiston.
According to a 2015 interview with Briggs Roberts, each weekend costs $25,000 to put the orchestra on stage. Ticket sales pay for 20 to 25 percent of annual operating expenses while 70 to 75 percent comes from donors.
The symphony’s next concert is scheduled for Jan. 27 and 28.
Trejo’s letter can be read in full below.
Announcement from the Board of Directors
Thursday, November 16, 2017
Members of the Washington Idaho Symphony Community,
I am writing to you today to share with you that Dr. Jeremy Briggs Roberts, Conductor & Music Director and Executive Director is on a leave of absence effective Friday, November 10, 2017.
I want you to know that this will neither disrupt nor diminish our 46th Season. The Board will be announcing guest conductor plans soon. I encourage you to join us for our upcoming concerts, with details at WashingtonIdahoSymphony.org
The operations and functions of the organization will continue to be maintained as we will follow through on concert promotion, fundraising, donor development, customer service, education, and our overall mission. The Board of Directors will take an active role in the management and day-to-day operations of the Association in ensuring the organization continues to operate at the highest capacity.
For 46 years, the Washington Idaho Symphony has been an asset to our community, because of supporters like you. I ask that you continue to support us as we continue our season.
Our future continues to look bright as we build on the successes of our fall fundraiser, Beethoven, Beers, and BBQ, our Concept Concerts at Ensminger Pavilion in Pullman, our upcoming Guest Hosts, our talented performers and featured soloists, and those supporters who love classical music.
On behalf of the Board, our musicians, and the entire Association, I thank you for your attention and look forward to seeing you at our upcoming concerts.
Rudy Greg Trejo, M.Ed.
Washington Idaho Symphony | Board of Directors