To cut costs, the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra will play fewer concerts in fewer places next season.

The nonprofit announced this month that it will cut three venues from its neighborhood series — in Wayzata, Arden Hills and Stillwater. It's also reducing the number of concerts at St. Paul's United Church of Christ to four per season. So it will be performing 25 fewer concerts, overall.

The chamber orchestra still will play 82 concerts in nine venues across the Twin Cities, its leaders pointed out in an email to concertgoers. If you've been attending concerts in Stillwater, maybe try Mahtomedi.

"We did our best to end activity at venues where we believed there would be a viable alternative nearby," SPCO spokeswoman Mariela Lemus said.

The chamber orchestra has long left its Ordway Concert Hall home to play in suburban churches and venues, meeting audiences close to home.

But like other performing arts organizations, the nonprofit has struggled to attract audiences as big as before the pandemic. Meanwhile, "the generous philanthropy we rely on to operate has steadily declined over the last few years as inflation and the cost of putting on concerts has simultaneously risen," its leaders said in an explainer online.

Connie Hines of Wayzata, who attends concerts at Wayzata Community Church, said she was "disappointed" by the decision — "however, I totally understand the economics."

"Concerts in Wayzata have not been full since before COVID," Hines said.

She expects to attend concerts at other suburban venues, with occasional trips to the Ordway. Tickets are "a great value," Hines said, and she appreciates the variety of programs and instruments.

The SPCO will be hosting meetings in March and April ahead of concerts "to give audiences a chance to hear from the SPCO's leadership," with time to ask questions. For a list of times and locations, visit