Why is music relevant? For the past couple of weeks, we have been putting together the components for our new in-hall campaign called A Million Reasons to Give, and this question is really at the heart of everything. The question is easy for me. I don’t have a biased opinion just because I work for the Symphony. My life and who I am is a result of strong musical influence in my life.
My musical journey began in Tiny Tots choir at my church years ago. I won’t bore you with the details here, but I can tell you during my time in that choir, I was more concerned with the pretty white bows in my hair and making sure my white gloves didn’t get dirty. Reflecting on that experience now, I distinctly remember singing in the choir opened the door for the opportunity to visit new places in the greater Houston area and experience things that I otherwise would not have experienced.
My realization of my love for music actually happened in the sixth grade and particularly the eighth grade at Lanier Middle School. I had the privilege to study under two choir teachers whose passion for music and children radiated from their personality. They made music so much fun and extremely intellectual. They challenged our impressionable minds by learning difficult music, and encouraged us to be disciplined and serious singers. I loved every minute of it!
I am sure that if we all sit and think about it, music is an influence on each of our lives. There is a reason that we choose to visit the Symphony 6, 9, 18 or more times a year. There is a reason why we have listened to Beethoven’s 9th Symphony or Carmina Burana a billion times in our lifetime, and each time we listen to it, the chills are still there. Music is a part of us. The experience of watching live music—50 plus violins going to town on their instrument— is so thrilling.
For some of you who don’t know, the Houston Endowment has issued the Houston Symphony a challenge. The Houston Endowment has challenged the Symphony to increase our annual fund contributions to $8 million and our donor base to 4,000 by May 31. If so, the Endowment will give us $1 million.
Hence, we created A Million Reasons to Give. We would love the $1 million from the Houston Endowment so that we can continue to be an impact in the community and ultimately make you proud to be a part of the Symphony family.
This should definitely be a carefully thought out decision for you. As you consider giving to the symphony, think of some of the many reasons how the Symphony has impacted you and this community. Here are a few to keep in mind:
- #238: Scores of Community Connection concerts bring free performances to 22,000 people throughout the city each year
- # 623: The Instrument Petting Zoo gives more than 3,000 youngsters their first touch of an instrument…and it’s fun!
- #73,340: Our music education activities help bridge the budget-driven gap in school art programs
- #333,920: Our music stirs the soul
We want you to be inspired and have fun in your giving too. To encourage the spirit of giving, we have set up some meet-and-greets post concert during select performances throughout the remainder of the season. All you have to do is donate $25, and we’ll invite you to stick around after the concert to get to know us a little better. If you decide that you want to give online before you attend the performance one of those weekends, you can still join in on the fun. Just print your receipt and bring it with you when you come to the show.
I have given to the annual fund, I hope you will too – thanks a million!