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School of the Arts benches symphony

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – In an effort to save money, the student orchestra of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts will provide music for the school’s 2009 production of The Nutcracker, a role historically filled by the Winston-Salem Symphony.

“We have agonized over this decision and have thought a great deal about UNCSA’s continued commitment to our local arts institutions,” John Mauceri, chancellor of the school, says in a statement. “It’s my responsibility to take appropriate steps to protect our students and our future.”

The school hopes the move will allow it to protect its scholarship program, funded through the university’s endowment, which has sustained losses during the recession.

With its endowment valued at $12.9 million at the end of 2008, down from $17.2 million in June of last year, school officials say an additional $450,000 is needed to match last year’s scholarship level.

Mauceri expects the move to save about $80,000 for the school, which last year paid the Winston-Salem Symphony a total $109,000 for 12 performances.

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