Town Council Approves Fee Waiver for 1812 Concert

Leesburg Patch

Following a recent denial toward a $5,000 donation, the Loudoun Symphony will host its centennial concert at Ida Lee thanks to a fee waiver from the town.


Following an earlier request this month for a monetary donation in the amount of $5,000, organizers with the Loudoun Symphony have reevaluated their plans for its War of 1812 Centennial event, which was previously planned to take place at Morven Park. The event will help commemorate the bicentennial and Leesburg’s part in the War of 1812.

During a public hearing July 10, the Town Council voted against the donation, which would have helped meet the concert’s projected budget. Although a number of council members said they wouldn’t mind donating the money, they don’t normally provide support to non-profits.

As a result, Ara Bagdasarian, president of the Loudoun Symphony Board of Directors, came back to the Town Council Tuesday night and requested that they consider a fee waiver in the amount of $4,300 if the concert would be held at Ida Lee Park instead.

According to documents, the $4,300 fee waiver represents a waiver of rental fees for the use of Ida Lee Park in the amount of $2,000. The remaining $2,300 represents the real cost to cover associated staffing and electronic sign board usage for the event, which is to be funded from the Council-approved contingency funds already included in the FY13 budget.

On Tuesday, the new resolution passed 6-0-1. Councilman Dave Butler was not in attendance.

“I think this is a great opportunity,” said Councilwoman Kelly Burk. “This is just fantastic that the Symphony is willing to do this and put it together. Having it at Ida Lee is wonderful; it’s going to bring people from all over and it’s going to be really good for Leesburg.”

Vice Mayor Kevin Wright said he appreciated the way that organizers brought the issue back to the Town Council, and commended the symphony managers for listening to their concerns. The town will show the same support for Acoustics on the Green, the Bluemont Concert Series, and other downtown events, he said.

Mayor Kristen Umstattd echoed his statements and said that it was a better proposal then the one that was previously made two weeks ago.

“Ida Lee, as a venue for the 1812 performance, offers the audience easier access to the charm and businesses of Leesburg’s historic downtown. Concert-goers from out of town are more likely to see our downtown whether they come from the east, west, or south, if the symphony holds its performance at Ida Lee,” Umstattd said in an email.

“Morven Park, while spectacular, is more easily accessible from the Leesburg Bypass and it is less likely that any concert-goers would choose to drive through the downtown to access Morven Park,” she added. “Because the Leesburg Town Council was being asked to support the concert, it is more appropriate that it take place at a facility within the town. Ida Lee fits that description.”

Umstattd said she looks forward to the event, which should be a wonderful way to celebrate a time in Leesburg’s history, which helped define the nation, she said.

In conjunction with the Journey Through Hallowed Ground, the Loudoun Symphony Orchestra plans to hold the event on Sept. 23, beginning at 4 p.m.

To learn more about the event read:

Loudoun Symphony to Commemorate War of 1812


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