From 353 different zip codes and from as far away as Japan and the United Kingdom, 1,000 people from around the world have become donors to The Philadelphia Orchestra Association as part of its “1,000 New Donors Campaign.” The initiative is part of a larger celebration surrounding the centennial anniversary of the Orchestra’s U.S. premiere of Mahler’s “Symphony of a Thousand.” The reasons for pledging their support are as individual as they; some are inspired by Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin’s artistry at the Kimmel Center, others by the Orchestra’s offstage work throughout Philadelphia’s diverse communities.
Bill Zachs first experienced The Philadelphia Orchestra decades ago when he was in college at the University of Pennsylvania. “My first Philadelphia Orchestra concerts introduced me to the sound of true artistry—each musician, each instrumental section, the entire Orchestra playing beautiful music to perfection. The sound of the Orchestra and the memory of the experience stay with you for a long, long time.” Now, even though he lives in Edinburgh, Scotland, he was inspired to make a donation after visiting Philadelphia this season and hearing a concert.
Philadelphia Orchestra President and CEO Allison Vulgamore said, “We are so grateful to these many new donors. We are proud of the support from our amazing audiences around the world, and we are particularly grateful to those who are in the Philadelphia region that help to keep our work vibrant here at home. Without them we couldn’t present our many concerts at the Kimmel Center, or celebrate important events like the All-City High School Music Festival, our new partnership with the School District of Philadelphia.”
Kieran Hutchinson, a data analyst, contributed for the first time this year. “When I was studying music, most of our academic recordings were of The Philadelphia Orchestra, which is how I got to know them.” She said, “When I moved here a couple of years ago I was excited to have them in my backyard. I now go to the performances with my husband a few times a month.”
Much of what makes the Orchestra so connected to the region is its devotion to music education in an era when public funding for music education has been cut and many public school students may never even feel the simple joy of learning to play a musical instrument.
To honor the people who joined the Association as part of the “1,000 New Donors Campaign,” the Orchestra has created temporary signage throughout the Kimmel Center and program inserts that list all of their names, as well as saying thanks through the PECO Crown Lights.
If you would like to join as a donor and support The Philadelphia Orchestra’s efforts, please visit philorch.org or call the Annual Fund office at 215.893.3151.