By Charleston Symphony Orchestra League for Island Eye News
The Charleston Symphony Orchestra League (CSOL) held its final fundraiser for the 2020-21 season, A Summer Fête at the Charleston Yacht Club, Sunday, June 27. Celebrating a truly remarkable year, the CSOL announced it raised $210,000 this year making it one of the best fundraising years in the CSOL’s history. A check for $58,000 was presented to Michael Smith, executive director of the Charleston Symphony by Carol Cronk and Marty Penkhus, co-presidents of the CSOL. This was the second gift the CSOL made to the Symphony this year bringing the total to $173,000 as of June 27. A Summer Fête raised $52,000. David Savard, who led the Fund the Need bidding process, thanked the attendees for their generosity during this difficult time for the Symphony and cultural arts organizations. Jaimie Flack, event chair, said a third check for $37,000 was given to the CSO on June 30 making the CSOL’s total gift of $210,000. Jaimie shared the CSOL has been an integral part of the CSO since 1976.
Over the past 10 years, the CSOL has raised more than $2 million with $340,000 being awarded for student scholarships to young musicians in the Charleston community. Guest speakers included Maura Hogan, arts critic at the Post and Courier, who shared revolutionary ideas about the resurgence of the arts with a historical Charleston perspective. Maura read the poem, “Spin a Song: Rumi,” gifted to the CSOL in recognition of the event by Marjory Wentworth, a South Carolina Governor’s Awards for the Arts 2021 recipient and former Poet Laureate of South Carolina. Yuriy Bekker, CSO’s Concertmaster and Pops Conductor, presented highlights of the upcoming Masterworks and Pops 2021-22 season. Two violinists of the Charleston Symphony Youth Orchestra, Ava Whitener and Callie Williams, delighted guests with their youthful talents during dinner. CSO musicians, Kari Kistler, Damian Kremer and Gretchen Roper, played a program that closed with Gershwin’s Summertime. Damian Kremer surprised attendees by playing three movements from Bach’s unaccompanied cello suites to end the event. Under the leadership of President Lyn Magee, CSOL fundraisers in 2020-21 included a sold out Swing for the Symphony golf tournament, Tour of Homes on Kiawah Island, Valentine’s Day raffle, the first Historic Charleston Tour of Homes, annual Car Sponsorship, A Summer Fête and Fund the Need. The CSO was one of the few orchestras in the country to perform a full season of live performances during the 2020-21 season. However, reduced attendance due to COVID restrictions resulted in a revenue loss of $1 million. Information about joining the CSOL is available on the website under the Membership tab. Information about purchasing CSO tickets is available at info@ charlestonsymphony.org.
For more information contact: Jaimie Flack (843) 696-8737