HAMPTON ROADS, VA [January 23, 2020] Celebrating 100 years of community service and creativity, the Virginia Symphony Orchestra has announced the public phase of the largest fundraising campaign in its history.  To date, the VSO has raised over $9.3 million, more than 75 percent of its $12 million capital campaign goal. In addition, it has secured more than $2.5 million of a $4 million goal in planned giving commitments.   

The “Vision Forward” campaign will preserve the orchestra as a strong community asset for generations to come by significantly increasing the size of its endowment and providing the stimulus for future innovative programming both on and off the stage.  

In announcing the campaign, VSO President and CEO Karen M. Philion said, “As we look forward together to celebrating the VSO’s 100thanniversary in the upcoming season, the organization has much to celebrate – not only a venerable history of extraordinary musical performances and deep community engagement, but a strong financial foundation on which to build for the future.”

Since 2016, the VSO has significantly expanded its strategic vision by deepening its education and community service beyond presenting concerts.  The VSO has created new and unique programming throughout the region including music therapy-based health and wellness programs with non-traditional partners including hospitals and nursing homes.  Additionally, the VSO’s collaboration with Old Dominion University is one of the only programs of its type in the country that enhances music education for students by providing hands on instruction with the VSO’s professional musicians.  And, just this past year, the VSO performed its first-ever sensory-friendly concert to expand access to people on the autism spectrum.

Recognizing that growth for performing arts organizations will come as a result of broader representation throughout all communities, the VSO’s strategic vision places an emphasis on increasing access and inclusivity.  In 2019, the VSO was recognized nationally for its commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion by the League of American Orchestras which helped launch its first formal EDI initiative. 

The quiet phase of the campaign began in early 2018 and has received generous support from early leadership donors including Susan and David Goode, the F. Ludwig Diehn Fund of the Hampton Roads Community Foundation, James A. Squires and Karen Jones Squires, Connie Jacobson, Mr. and Mrs. Charles A. Banks, the Fannie, Milton, and Leslie Friedman Family Foundation, the Patricia and Douglas Perry Foundation, and TowneBank.

In addition, an anonymous foundation has offered an opportunity for donors to match their gifts on a dollar-for-dollar basis between now and May 1, 2020.

“The future of the VSO is bright and Vision Forward has created new momentum for the organization,” added Mike McClellan, Chair of the VSO Board of Directors.  “In the last five years, we have been diligent in our operations, increased transparency, and executed opportunities presented to our organization. We continue to evolve into an even stronger community partner serving all of Hampton Roads as its only full-time, professional symphony orchestra.”

For more information about the Vision Forward Campaign, visit virginiasymphony.org/visionforward.


July 31, 2019

Contact: Monica Meyer, Vice President of Marketing, Sales and Public Relations
Phone: 757.213.1431 | email: mmeyer@virginiasymphony.org

Contact: Peyton Carter, Manager of Digital Media Strategies and Patron Loyalty
Phone: 757.213.1420 | email: pcarter@virginiasymphony.org

Twitter: @VASymphony
Facebook: facebook.com/virginiasymphony

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