MUSICIANS who have taken over the running of the London Mozart Players (LMP) are determined to see it remain as Croydon's resident orchestra. The players stepped in earlier this year following persistent financial crises which had pushed the orchestra close to bankruptcy. They are now running the management and administration of the orchestra, without pay for that side of the work, and their efforts – together with some generous donations – mean the organisation is once again solvent. As a result the players are confident enough about the future to push ahead with a major concert at Fairfield Halls in November to mark the anniversary of the start of the First World War. Ironically the concert is being part-funded by the Arts Council and Croydon Council, whose withdrawal of financial support helped land the LMP in its precarious financial position. The orchestra was dealt a body blow by the Arts Council a few years back when its £150,000 grant was withdrawn, a funding gap it never managed to fill. The position was made worse when the council announced earlier this year it could not fund a full Fairfield season for 2014-15. The LMP was costing £250,000 a run. Viv Davies, managing director of the new LMP company, said the orchestra was looking to organise more concerts in central London, and still hoping to arrange a full season of music in Fairfield Halls next year. Mr Davies said: "We want to re-establish our relationship with the Arts Council and Croydon Council in the hope this will successfully generate some grants from both of them later this year. "We are optimistic we can do that." Mr Davies said there had been a tremendous response from orchestra members to the challenge of keeping the organisation afloat. Achievement He said: "Managing the orchestra themselves without taking a salary is an extraordinary achievement and has helped get them through a traumatic period. "We believe the orchestra is the only one in the country which is managed by its players." Mr Davies added: "We want to remain associated with Croydon for as long as possible, we have a strong group of supporters here. "We are looking forward to the future and are keen to see the orchestra remain successful and the resident orchestra of Croydon."
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