The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

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March 15, 2013

JSO needs another $20G

JOHNSTOWN — Accomplishing 80 percent of anything is pretty good.

That doesn’t mean the Johnstown Symphony Orchestra is satisfied with having reached 80 percent of its goal for this year’s campaign. The orchestra launched its 2013 fund drive on Jan. 24 with a goal of $100,000.

The annual drive helps to keep classical music alive in the community while also providing music education for local youths.

Karen Azer, who co-chairs the campaign with Carm Coco, is inspired by the support for the drive, but continues to seek donations to raise the remaining $20,000.

“I am impressed at how quickly our community showed support by giving to the JSO’s annual fund campaign,” Azer said. “We want to remind our community to keep the momentum going.”

Azer is optimistic that the fundraiser will continue to be successful, but there is no deadline to achieve the goal.

“We still have a few corporate donors to hear from, but we also rely on individuals to step forward to help continue the growth of our wonderful community treasure.”

Azer is steadfast in saying that no gift is too small.

“A $10 donation from one individual looking to help is just as meaningful as a gift from a generous corporate partner who offers thousands of dollars,” Azer said. “Every gift is important, and it is a way to show our talented musicians and Maestro Istvan Jaray that we believe in what they do; we believe in the power of music to transform lives.”

Proceeds from the fund drive support the JSO’s seven concert subscription series. In addition, the drive supports the orchestra’s outreach initiatives including its Youth Orchestra, Inclined to Sing Children’s Chorus, adult chorus and community strings programs. Proceeds are also used to present Young People’s concerts for area fifth-graders and to help support the symphony’s operating budget.

This year’s young people’s concerts will be held at 9:30 and 10:45 a.m. March 26 at the Pasquerilla Performing Arts Center.

Brooke Welsh, executive director, is pleased that the community has stepped up so quickly in support of the orchestra.

“I believe the significant financial support that we are receiving from the fund drive is a confirmation that the community appreciates and values what the JSO has to offer our region in the way of culture, education and outreach,” Welsh said. “The annual fund drive is crucial to our success as an organization.”

Ticket sales cover less than half of the symphony’s operating expenses.

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