The Harrington String Quartet and the Amarillo Symphony have worked together for decades. That relationship has been severed along with a source of funds.
It was a heartbreaking and surprising moment after the Amarillo Symphony announced their plans to discontinue their funding for West Texas A&M's Harrington String Quartet.
"Certainly we were caught off guard by their decision," said Institutional Advancement VP Neal Weaver. "As I said, this relationship has been going on for over 30 years and without much warning, we were told this would no longer be funded."
The HSQ is the result of two donations given to both WT and the Symphony by the Harrington Foundation.
"Those quartet members would be faculty at the university, would be principle players and performers in symphony, and they would perform as a quartet," said Weaver.
To function properly, officials said both the HSQ and symphony would have to work together.
Weaver said, "What the symphony wants to do, why they've chosen to do, what they're doing, how they maintain a relationship with the quartet, those will all be questions that you'll need to ask the symphony."
Amarillo symphony officials chose not to comment on the matter, but WT said that these talented musicians can be assured that their positions are safe
"Obviously we'll be very active in fundraising efforts. We'll be very active in trying to promote the quartet and find some people in the community that believe in the value of the quartet," said Weaver. "Much like Mrs. Harrington did."
Weaver said that Mrs. Harrington believed in giving the panhandle an opportunity to hear the some of the most talented musicians in the world, and they will work to keep the quartet together.