Houston Symphony Will Play on Despite Huge Flood Loss; Musicians and Staff Rally to Continue Nearly a Century of Community Service

Jun 11, 2001, 01:00 ET from Houston Symphony

    HOUSTON, June 11 /PRNewswire/ -- The Houston Symphony's music library,
 offices, rehearsal rooms, computer servers and files, as well as its customer
 service center, were totally submerged under more than eight feet of dirty
 flood water in Jones Hall left behind by Tropical Storm Allison.  Today, the
 Houston Symphony pledged to continue its schedule of performances if at all
     "Fortunately, no member of the orchestra or staff was seriously hurt,"
 said Ann Kennedy, executive director and CEO.  "Our other losses have been
 nothing short of catastrophic, but if the venues where we are scheduled to
 play are able to accommodate us, despite all the flooding, we will be there,"
 she vowed.  "There may have to be some minor changes in repertoire due to the
 flooding of our priceless music library, which contained scores dating back
 almost to the orchestra's founding in 1913.  Nonetheless, the members of the
 orchestra and our staff are determined that we will continue playing."
     Instruments kept in the sub-basement of Jones Hall, including several
 grand pianos and two contrabasses that are three to four-hundred years old,
 are presumed lost as well.  Fortunately, the majority of the orchestra's
 instruments are either safe with their owners or had been taken out of Jones
 Hall to be transported to a concert.  What remains of a massive collection of
 the Symphony's historical documents and photographs cannot be determined until
 staff members can re-enter Jones Hall.
     The sub-basement, where the rehearsal rooms and some instrument storage
 are located, apparently filled with flood water, which then rose to the
 ceiling of the main basement, which contains the music library, historical
 library, musicians' lockers, administrative offices, computer equipment and
 the customer service center.
     Most of the subscription records for the upcoming season are safe at an
 off-site location.  In the days ahead, customer service staff will personally
 contact subscribers to assure they will be properly accommodated next season.
 The regular customer service telephone has been temporarily disrupted, as have
 been all telephones in the main Jones Hall office.  Emergency communications
 with the Houston Symphony can be handled through 713-334-5616.
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SOURCE Houston Symphony