Joseph and Judith Conda Donate Generous Gift to Toledo Symphony Youth Orchestras Program

Published Thursday, August 15, 2019 9:00 am

Joseph and Judith Conda of Perrysburg, Ohio recently informed the Toledo Symphony Orchestra (TSO) of their intention to make a significant gift to underwrite the entire 2019-2020 Toledo Symphony Youth Orchestras (TSYO) performance season. This gift represents the first source of direct concert underwriting for the TSYO program in its history.

“We applaud Joseph and Judith for making this extraordinary investment in the Toledo Symphony Youth Orchestras and for making it possible for audiences to experience these wonderful concerts for free,” says Zak Vassar, President & CEO of the Toledo Symphony Orchestra. “The Youth Orchestras showcase the best student talent from our area, so I am happy for our community to appreciate and admire what these young men and women achieve.”

The Condas’ significant gift will allow all four of the TSYO concerts in the coming season to be offered free of charge to patrons. The youth orchestras perform three concerts at the Toledo Museum of Art’s Peristyle Theater each season, including one “Side-by-Side” performance with the professional musicians of the Toledo Symphony Orchestra, and its season finale Pops concert in Kobacker Hall at Bowling Green State University.

“In our view, the Toledo Symphony Youth Orchestra Program aligns with our passion toward helping youth navigate their life plans,” says Joseph and Judith Conda. “We believe that involvement with music in this manner enhances the development of self-reflection, communication, collaboration, creativity, and innovation. All of these soft skills lend themselves to a greater opportunity for success in the STEM Education areas (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). This combination has been validated as the justification for adding the "A" to STEM, creating "STEAM.”

“This gift from the Condas underscores their belief in youth education and the power of music. We at the Toledo Symphony join Joe and Judith in celebrating the ambition and strength of spirit that the Youth Orchestra musicians exhibit on a regular basis.”

This gift from Joseph and Judith Conda comes at a time of great momentum for the TSYO.

“The Toledo Symphony Youth Orchestras have seen incredible growth under the artistic leadership of Wasim Hawary and conductors Dr. Matthew Forte and Betsy Cranston,” says Rachel Zeithamel, Director of Education and Community Engagement at the Toledo Symphony Orchestra. “This generous gift from the Condas will allow the TSYO to serve more students and reach more people, setting the stage for even more growth in the years to come!”

The Toledo Symphony and the Toledo Symphony Youth Orchestras are grateful for the visionary philanthropy of Joseph and Judith Conda. Their gift to the TSYO program is an investment in the future of music in this community.


As part of the core educational mission of the Toledo Symphony, the Toledo Symphony Youth Orchestras bring together over 220 of the most talented students from Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan in an atmosphere of musical excellence. Dedicated staff members and musicians work hard to give a top quality musical education to all students regardless of financial circumstance. The Toledo Youth Orchestras have been in existence for over 65 years. Starting out as a small group of friends meeting for fun, the organization grew into what we know today.

The TSYO currently includes three orchestras: the Philharmonic, Symphonic, and Concert Strings that perform 4 concerts per season. The TSYO is able to serve students ages 8-18 from over 50 area schools. We aim to find a place in the orchestra where each student will be challenged to grow musically with skill-appropriate repertoire.

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