Red Chair Sponsorship
The Akron Symphony is a community supported orchestra, and the commitment of people like you is essential for its success. Our business model, like that of all orchestras around the world, requires the support of people willing to invest in the future of music performance and music education.
The Red Chair Society is one of our signature giving programs. It’s designed to provide full funding for each of our non-principal musicians for one year and a long-term sustainable source of funding for our orchestra. This rewarding program provides a positive experience for both our donors and musicians. Red Chair sponsors have the opportunity to choose a specific musician (based upon availability), receive special program recognition, and invitation to special Red Chair Society receptions where they can meet and get to know their sponsored musician and other Red Chair Society members.
All gifts of $5,000+ to the Akron Symphony annual fund qualify to become members of the Red Chair Society. Gifts of all size enable us to fulfill our mission to enhance the quality of life of our community through education and musical excellence by producing and presenting the Akron Symphony Orchestra, Akron Symphony Chorus, Akron Youth Symphony, Gospel Meets Symphony, Concerts for Kids, Akron Youth Philharmonic, scholarships for talented, young musicians, and outreach and education programs that reach over 70,000 people each year.
Here is what a few of our Red Chair sponsors and musicians have to say about the experience. To learn more about how you can sponsor a Red Chair, or to discuss additional giving options, contact Executive Director Paul Jarrett at 330-535-8131.
Mike and Julie Pasternak have been Red Chair sponsors since the program started in 2009. “We have been long time supporters of the Symphony and felt that it was a great way to pay tribute to ASO’s Lara Dudack. Lara was the first strings teacher that two of our daughters had the opportunity to work with and one of them is now inspired to pursue a professional career in viola performance.”
Lara Dudack, viola, was very honored to learn that she had been sponsored. “When I heard it was Mike and Julie, I was touched beyond measure. I taught their oldest daughter violin and started their youngest on viola. Their youngest soloed with the Akron Symphony in 2012 as a senior in high school and is now at CIM. I’m so proud of her and I hope that I had a small part in her career. I couldn’t be happier knowing Mike and Julie care enough to sponsor me to help the symphony. I just feel guilty I’m sitting on their really nice chair!”
DuWayne and Dottie Hanson have been Red Chair sponsors since 2011. “Several years ago, we decided to honor Dottie’s parents by donating a principal trombone chair. Dottie’s dad was a trombonist and we felt it appropriate that his name be connected with that chair. The money donated for this chair helps to pay the salary of the individual who holds it. When the Red Chair program was initiated, it was to garner extra financial support for the symphony, and you could choose the chair you wanted to support. We elected to stay within the trombone section by supporting the second chair trombone. Tom Pylinski has held that chair for the two years we have supported a Red Chair. We have enjoyed getting to know him. Our main reason for giving a Red Chair is to provide direct financial support for the outstanding musicians that help make the Akron Symphony Orchestra such a valuable artistic asset to our community.
Tom Pylinski, trombone, says it’s a real honor to have a red chair sponsor. “I am so glad to have met Dottie and DuWayne Hansen. It was especially nice to learn why sponsoring a seat in the trombone section was important to them. The whole red chair initiative is a wonderful idea – a testament to the fortitude of arts organizations in our day. I hope the program continues to grow and help tear down the “wall” between our audience members and orchestra musicians by establishing meaningful relationships from both sides of the podium!”
To see which Akron Symphony Orchestra musicians still need a Red Chair, click here. Those listed with a red name are currently sponsored. All other members are available for sponsorship. For more information, contact Executive Director Paul Jarrett at 330.535.8131.