For Houston Symphony’s development team, a message of perseverance

Posted on: September 10, 2020

“The last few months have been a roller coaster ride for the Houston Symphony,” writes Eden Stiffman in Tuesday’s (9/8) Philanthropy.com (subscription required). “When the pandemic canceled the end of the orchestra’s 2019-20 performance season, fundraisers launched a relief campaign…. The orchestra saw a strong response … but by the end of May, ‘people were getting a little tired of the relief requests,’ says Nancy Giles, chief development officer…. The orchestra … slashed $11 million from its $36 million budget…. The music has continued [with] weekly livestream concerts.… Starting in July, they returned to Jones Hall … to livestream performances each Saturday…. Giles feels a sense of cautious optimism…. ‘Right now, I’m 50 percent ahead of where I thought I would be with bringing in cash for the summer.’ … About 15 percent of the people who tune into the weekly virtual concerts are doing so from outside Texas…. For the year-end campaign that kicks off later this fall, the message will be perseverance.… The orchestra will talk about its education and community-engagement programs… Musicians have serenaded patients virtually in Houston hospitals and seniors who are otherwise isolated, for example…. ‘It’s a very positive message of pushing forward,’ Giles says.”