Frequently Asked Questions

Updated May 1, 2020

Are there plans to reschedule the final two concerts of the 2019/2020 season that were never performed?

Yes! We are working closely with our guest artists and presenting partners to find alternative dates. We intend to reschedule both April’s Violins of Hope and May’s Sarah Chang concerts when it is safe to resume performances.

What about people who purchased tickets for these concerts?

For those patrons who have purchased tickets – either season subscription or individual concerts – for performances not taking place as originally scheduled, we have asked for their patience and understanding as we sort through the details. Our audience has been very accommodating as they recognize that we are all in this together.

When does the NWS intend to resume normal activities?

For any and all future activities we are following the recommendations and guidance from local agencies and health authorities, as well as the State and Federal government. And, of course, the theaters need to reopen so we have a place to perform. Our first priority is the safety of our patrons, our orchestra, our staff and all of the employees who work the theaters to provide concert goers with such a great experience.

How much of the symphony’s revenue comes from concerts?

Ticket sales, both season subscription and individual concerts, account for only about 30% of our revenue. This is not unlike most symphonies across the county. For the other 70% we rely on charitable giving, grants and sponsors.

What is the symphony doing to fill the financial hardship caused by the pandemic?

We are presently involved in an outreach to donors asking for them to do what they can in this time of need. Not everyone is in a position to do so and we are extremely sensitive to the life-and-death realities of the situation, but we are asking those who are in a position to help to do so. We are also looking at what support we may receive through federal stimulus, and other grants. Everything is being explored, as these are clearly unusual times.

Are the NWS offices open?

Our offices are located within the Thousand Oaks City Hall which is currently closed. As a result, staff is now working from their homes, all on reduced hours, but you can still reach them through email or phone. Our main office number is being answered Monday – Friday, 9am – 5pm: 805-497-5800.

Have you had to make any staffing changes as a result of the loss of revenue?

As of last month, we have been forced to make staffing adjustments commensurate with the loss of revenue triggered by the current situation. 100% of our staff was impacted; two employees have been laid off, the other eight have had hours reduced, many significantly.

How is the Symphony keeping it touch with subscribers and donors during this quiet time?

The New West Symphony has launched an e-newsletter to keep our friends apprised of developments that are taking place. The Symphony is also posting on its blog (, providing uplifting music that people can enjoy at home.

What role is Music Director Michael Christie playing while there are no live concerts?

A very active one. Each week Maestro Christie collects some of his favorite music performances including his personal video introductions and posts them on Michael Christie’s Jukebox ( Through this you can enjoy his expert insight and a broad array of selections all in one place. In addition, Michael is working with staff and musicians to create original content that will soon be available online through social media, the blog, and on the website.

What role is the NWS Board playing at this time?

Our Board of Directors is taking an active approach, meeting regularly, and working to supplement staffing by donating their time and expertise in many different areas. As a nonprofit organization, this is a voluntary non-compensated Board comprised of local residents who care about the symphony.

What is going on with the Laby Harmony Project?

We are actively working with our Laby Harmony Project administrators to launch an online music program which will create access to quality youth development programming and learning opportunities for students and eliminate barriers of access. Our goals are to keep kids learning, connected, and growing in these challenging times. Routines have been disrupted, kids are home for long hours and hanging out with friends, which is discouraged by public health officials. By providing robust, accessible distance programming for students we hope to foster a sense of normalcy and grow social cohesion through the rest of the spring semester and beginning of the summer.

What about education programs such as Symphonic Adventures?

While we sadly had to postpone our Symphonic Adventures concerts until next season, New West Symphony did fulfill its training commitments (32 training sessions had taken place) and conducted orientations for this incredible program. In fact nearly 4,400 students were prepared to attend the concerts. We look forward to the day when we can once again fill our halls with thousands of cheering, enthusiastic students from throughout our communities.

What can I do to help?

As our symphony confronts the heartbreaking realities of some period-of-time without live music performances we can all attend, many of our supporters have kindly asked “what can I do to help?” Here are a few things:

  • If you already have tickets to Violins of Hope or Sarah Chang, either through season subscription or individual ticket purchase, your seats will automatically be reserved for the new dates. Thank you for your patience as continue to work with our artists and presenting partners on dates to reschedule. 
  • If you haven’t yet renewed your subscription for our 2020/2021 season, please do so as these dollars will help to partially offset our loss of revenue from these postponements.
  • If you have the ability to make a donation of any size, please do so as this is needed now more than ever.
  • If you love the symphony, please tell your friends about the important role we play in the fabric of our community and ask them to join you in supporting us during this challenging time.

The New West Symphony has navigated difficult times before, and you can rest assured that we will navigate the turbulent waters we now face to safe harbors. We know that we will continue to thrive because of the strength of our community. Now as always, we are grateful for your ongoing, extraordinary support. Stay safe, stay strong and stay in touch.

We’re all in this together!