AUBURN (CBS13) — A dozen community bands that have entertained people for decades may be silenced by a thief.
Someone embezzled tens of thousands of dollars from a group that oversees bands from Auburn to Antioch.READ MORE: Newsom: Some State Workers Will Not Return To Downtown Sacramento Offices
The nonprofit Sacramento Valley Symphonic Band Association is the largest group of its kind in the country with more than 600 local band members, who are now left scrambling to find funds to cover the missing money.
Musicians practiced on Wednesday for an Auburn Concert Band performance that may never happen.
“I don’t even want to think about that,” Cathyrn Shields said. “It would be a loss, for me and I’m sure everybody else that plays in this band.”
Thirteen bands just like this throughout the Sacramento region are at risk of collapsing after leaders say one of their own took off with more than $50,000 in funds that pay for insurance, music and venue fees.READ MORE: Sacramento Authorities Hope Recent Illegal Fireworks Arrest Shows Department Means Business With Crackdown
Interim treasurer George Preston says they discovered the missing money in August, and believe a longtime member is to blame.
“That’s what hurts so much..this person lied to his friends, he stole from his friends,” he said.
Members are now left scrambling to pull in donations to keep their concert schedules intact.
Members describe the music they play as an outlet both for themselves and their audiences that they couldn’t stand to see end on a sour note.
“I don’t even think about the potential for any of these bands to go under,” Preston said. “I think of what we have to do to move forward, that’s what I think about. I don’t know if it’s going to happen.”MORE NEWS: Body Of Teen Who Went Missing While Swimming In American River Found
No charges have been filed as the investigation continues, but the person believed to be responsible has since resigned.