When David W. Donovan founded the Lebanon Symphony Orchestra some 15 years ago, there were just a handful of community-based orchestras in the region.

These days, the greater metropolitan area is rapidly becoming a hotbed of smaller symphonies, fast changing the face of suburban arts culture and the business models of the Tristate's classical music industry. No less than two dozen orchestras have sprouted around and outside the I-275 beltway, mimicking the explosive spread of suburban sprawl.

The question poised at the conductor's podium is this: Can so many orchestras, so many maestros, thrive in one single market? Or is this"”to put it bluntly"”a baton death march?

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