Toledo Symphony receives an Anonymous $1 million pledge on Giving Tuesday

Published Wednesday, November 29, 2017 3:00 pm

The Toledo Symphony had a very successful Giving Tuesday on November 28. In addition to raising more than $35,000 in gifts from various donors as part of its Giving Tuesday campaign, the orchestra received word of a $1 million pledge from an anonymous donor. The donor will make the gift in two phases, $500,000 each year over the next two years. This is the one of the largest operating gifts ever made to the orchestra.

The first $500,000 gift will provide direct support to the orchestra’s operating budget, sustaining the Toledo Symphony’s high level of artistic excellence. The second $500,000 gift will serve as a matching grant during the orchestra’s 75th anniversary season in 2018-2019, providing a dollar for dollar match for any new donations secured during the season. These funds will match donations from new and lapsed donors as well as increased donations from existing donors and corporate supporters. This generous matching grant will inspire and motivate other donors to increase their support for the premier performing arts organization in Northwest Ohio.

Zak Vassar, President & CEO of the Toledo Symphony remarked: “This is such an exciting time for the TSO. Our audience is growing, and we’re attracting some of the finest performers in the industry to Toledo. We’ve learned that this community really values creativity, imagination, and curiosity. This incredible gift embodies that spirit and will allow the orchestra to expand our place in Toledo’s creative fabric. It helps to build our momentum as we kickoff our Diamond Anniversary celebrations.”
The Toledo Symphony is excited to share news of the matching grant with the community at-large. According to Ken Wetstein, TSO’s VP for Development, “the TSO has a loyal and growing base of patrons and supporters. They will be motivated to increase their giving to take advantage of the match offered through this generous gift. We also expect many of our corporate partners to accept the challenge to invest in the orchestra at higher levels.”

Formed in 1943 as The Friends of Music and incorporated in 1951 as the Toledo Orchestra Association, Inc., the Toledo Symphony Orchestra (TSO) has grown from a core group of 22 part-time musicians to a regional orchestra that employs 65 professional musicians who consider the Toledo Symphony their primary employer, as well as numerous extra players annually as repertoire demands.

The Toledo Symphony reaches more than 260,000 individuals annually through performances and education programs. The series concerts (Classics, Pops, Chamber, Mozart & More, and Family Series) are the critical underpinning of the orchestra’s artistic mission and regularly draw people from 135 postal zip codes. Additionally, Music Under the Stars, a free summer concert series, is held annually at the Toledo Zoo.

Education programs, student performances, and community concerts are held in schools, neighborhood churches, performing arts centers, and community facilities throughout the region; many are offered at no charge or provided at a reduced fee to help expand participation. The Toledo Symphony’s School of Music (TSSM) provides lessons on various instruments to over 120 students annually, aged 3 to 83. The Toledo Symphony Youth Orchestra (TSYO) hosts three ensembles offering over 220 area students the opportunity to cultivate and express their passion for music through rehearsal and performance.

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