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Atlanta Symphony Associates tunes up its support for orchestra

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The Atlanta Symphony Associates' signature fundraiser, the annual Decorators’ Show House & Gardens, netted nearly $250,000 this year.
The Atlanta Symphony Associates' signature fundraiser, the annual Decorators’ Show House & Gardens, netted nearly $250,000 this year.

The Atlanta Symphony Associates’ signature fundraiser, the annual Decorators’ Show House & Gardens, netted nearly $250,000 this year at Chateau Soleil.

The Woodruff Arts Center announced earlier this month that the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra finished the 2014-15 season with a surplus, described as being “in the solid six figures,” reversing a slide of 11 consecutive years of deficits. And it also revealed news with perhaps even longer-term implications: that $13.3 million has been raised in the ASO’s Musicians’ Endowment Campaign in seven months toward its $25 million goal.

As part of the four-year collective bargaining agreement, whose negotiations delayed the start of the 2014-15 season by nine weeks and included a musicians lockout, the Woodruff must raise the number of players from 77 to 88 before year four. The endowment news suggests the process is moving along, with the ASO already having posted audition notices for three positions. (Catch up to the story at artscultureblog.ajc.com.)

In addition to its large board of directors chaired by D. Kirk Jamieson, the ASO also is helped by support in many forms from the Atlanta Symphony Associates (ASA), the ASO’s all-volunteer guild in its 66th year.

Last season, the ASA’s signature fundraiser, the annual Decorators’ Show House & Gardens, netted nearly $250,000. Associates also volunteered at 28 children’s concerts and led 10 “instrument petting zoos” that reached nearly 5,000 metro Atlanta children. ASA members also welcomed concert attendees into Symphony Hall.

The ASA has announced its board of directors for the 2015-‘16 season. The new leadership slate includes 15 members with leadership experience ranging from advocacy to music education to communications: Camille Kesler, in her second year as president; Belinda Massafra and Leslie Petter, advisers; Sabine Sugarman, secretary; Glee Lamb, treasurer; Sylvia Davidson, nominating chair; Bunny Davidson, membership vice president; Melissa Hudson, communications and development vice president; Jonathan Brown and Josh Cochran, Bravo Unit chairs; Martha and John Head, Concerto Unit chairs; Joan Abernathy, Encore Unit chair; Corrie Johnson and Joanne Chesler Gross, Ensemble Unit chairs.

The ASA is seeking new members: email Bunny Davidson at davidsonb7@comcast.net or atlantasymphonyassociates@gmail.com.


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