Why Pay Fees?
In normal times: The students in the SOA Symphony program enjoy a world-class education that provides all students with coachings by Charleston Symphony musicians, great professional symphony music, method books, performance opportunities around the Charleston area, T-shirts, and much more (see “How are fees used”). The operating budget for our program is over $13,000 not including the cost of instrument repairs that are paid for by instrument rental fee, and need-based assistance provided in part by our annual Orchestra Oyster Roast.
The SOA High School Orchestra receives $500 from SOA/CCSD to cover the costs of our orchestra program. The SOA HS Orchestra Boosters is a 501 c3 organization created to provide the parental volunteer support and funding that a program like the SOA Symphony requires. When we divide our true operating cost ($13,000) by the number of students not on free or reduced lunch, we get the “fair share” cost of this program per student, which is called the orchestra fee. This fee and all other donations to the orchestra are tax deductible; while it is not required of every student—students on free or reduced lunch are encouraged to pay what they can—the orchestra cannot operate at its current level of success without the funding that these fees provide.
Parents who pay the tax deductible orchestra fee enjoy the comfort of knowing that they are doing their part in paying for the benefits that their children receive, and more. Any reduction in trip cost funded by the Oyster Roast will be enjoyed by all parents who have paid their fees, and if they find sponsors to donate money to the orchestra for the Oyster Roast or the General Budget, they will receive a trip credit of 30% of the amount of their sponsor’s donation.