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Armstrong Community Music School to Become Stand-Alone Entity

Austin Lyric Opera Announces Spin-Off, Effective Feb. 1

AUSTIN—The Austin Lyric Opera announced today that the Armstrong Community Music School will become an independent not-for-profit organization, effective February 1, 2012. This move is the result of a decision taken by the board of trustees of Austin Lyric Opera this past June to spin off the music school as a separate entity.

“This change allows the Austin Lyric Opera and the Armstrong School of Music to focus on their core missions and to expand their services to the community,” Ernest Auerbach, president of the Opera board, said. “We are pleased about what the future holds for both the Opera and the school.”

Martha Rochelle, who chaired the Austin Lyric Opera’s task force that worked on a strategic plan for the future of the school, will serve as Armstrong Community Music School’s chair.

The Austin Lyric Opera established the Armstrong Community Music School in 2000 at the same time it bought and renovated its facility on Barton Springs Road. “Owning that building has given us an extremely valuable asset, and creating a school that can stand alone makes us believe we’ve successfully raised a bright child into a productive and creative adult,” Auerbach said.

The opera and the school will maintain their programs and operations at the Barton Springs Road site through April 2012 and then will establish separate facilities.

The Austin Lyric Opera will launch a new opera education program to complement its opera subscription season at The Long Center. The Armstrong Community Music School will maintain its focus on early childhood music education, individual music instruction and other community programs.

The opera, now in its 25th season, recently announced its list of operas to be performed next season: Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci, Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro and Gounod’s Faust.

Auerbach said that recent donations to the Opera have totaled more than $1 million and that the sale of the building in December to Megalomedia Inc. was a profitable and stabilizing move. “The successful sale of our building, the support we are seeing for the Silver Anniversary Fund and other donations that are flowing in has brought us to the best financial condition we’ve had in many years,” Auerbach said. “The Opera is close to finding new space for its staff and rehearsals, and are seeing a bright future for this important performing arts company.”

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