Dear Asheville Symphony family,
Our team was recently made aware of a significant problem with the HVAC system at the Harrah’s Cherokee Center Asheville (HCCA) Thomas Wolfe Auditorium that affects the ability to heat or cool the house of the auditorium. After the HCCA team investigated the problem further, it became clear that this would affect the Asheville Symphony’s 2023 – 2024 season. Parts to repair the HVAC system are not readily available, and HCCA has let us know that it may not be fully back online for at least 9 months.
The Thomas Wolfe Auditorium will remain open at a limited capacity, with approximately 1,000 seats of the 2,431-seat capacity available. In addition to operating at about half capacity, the audience portion of the venue will be heated and cooled primarily via an HVAC unit that heats and cools the stage, resulting in significant overheating or overcooling of the stage to keep the house regulated. The Asheville Symphony must keep the stage within certain ranges of temperature to ensure the safety and sound quality of musicians’ instruments, and we will not be able to adequately control the comfort of the auditorium for our patrons’ experience.
Thus, we made the decision to move all the shows originally scheduled for the Thomas Wolfe Auditorium to alternate venues for the duration of the season.
While of course this is not an ideal situation, there are some major positive changes that we will be able to make to the patron experience by holding our concerts in alternate locations this season!
We will move the majority of the Masterworks Series to First Baptist Church of Asheville (FBCA), where we held “Masterworks 5: Guitarra Española” during our 2022-2023 season. These shows will feature reserved seats rather than general admission so we can provide the best possible experience. FBCA holds approximately 930 people, so we will move to a new show cadence, offering both a matinee and regular evening performance of each Masterworks show held at FBCA throughout the season.
FBCA also offers great acoustics, easy parking, and a more intimate setting that truly allows patrons to get closer to the music!
In addition to these upgrades to the experience, moving our series to FBCA has allowed us to make very few changes to the repertoire of the season, and allows us to continue to fully employ our contracted musicians, as we will be able to build the stage out so it can accommodate the full orchestra.
In addition to the shows moving to FBCA, the Asheville Symphony will also move shows to the following venues:
“Masterworks IV: Classical Romance” will remain at the Wortham Center for the Performing Arts as originally scheduled. All ALT ASO performances and recitals, as well as Symphony in the Park, will remain unchanged.
On our website, you can read more about these changes, see the seating areas at FBCA, read more about how this affects subscriptions, and see the FAQ that will give you more information. We will continue to send updates via email and post them on the website as they are available.
Despite these unforeseen complications, we are excited about the 2023-2024 season. Even without a truly permanent location, your Asheville Symphony is a true part of the fabric of Asheville’s arts and music community, and we are profoundly grateful for your support and the support of the community while we adjust. We are also incredibly grateful for the support of our community partners in helping us facilitate this transition as well as the team at HCCA for their transparency and communication as we explored options for the season.
This year, it is more important than ever to consider purchasing season tickets via a full Masterworks Subscription or a Picks Subscription!
Our subscribers are the backbone of the Symphony. If you’ve ever considered purchasing a subscription, I encourage you to do so this year so we know we can count on you during this unpredictable time – and you can get the best seats at FBCA! Please consider joining us as we ‘hit the road’ in Asheville to continue bringing you the high-quality, wonderful music that is the hallmark of your Asheville Symphony! To renew or subscribe, give us a call at (828) 254-7046 ext. 2.
Daniel M. Crupi
23-24 Asheville Symphony Season Update: Shows Scheduled in Thomas Wolfe Auditorium Have Been Relocated