The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

January 23, 2013

Local symphony drumming up funds for season

Ruth Rice

JOHNSTOWN — Johnstown Symphony Orchestra will launch its 2013 fund drive with a press conference at 10:30 a.m. today in the Sonoma Room at the Holiday Inn, 250 Mar­ket St., downtown Johnstown.

The symphony’s board of trustees has set this year’s fund drive goal at $100,000, which Executive Director Brooke Welsh said is a standard amount.

“We wanted to have an amount that is attainable,” she said. “The fund drive will go on all year for this year’s expenses.”

The event will be hosted by WJAC news anchor Marty Radovanic, and speakers will include Karen Azer and Carm Coco, who are co-chairing the fund drive, and Maestro Istvan Jaray, the orchestra’s music director and conductor.

Azer and Coco have spent more than 80 years serving the orchestra in various capacities.

Coco has been a bassoonist in the orchestra for 61 years, and Azer has served as a board member for 22 years.

“Preserving this community treasure is crucial to us both, and we hope you share our appreciation and admiration for the splendid orchestra that Maestro Istvan Jaray and his predecessors have created for us,” Azer said.

Informational brochures will be mailed to anyone with a known connection to the symphony, such as ticket buyers, previous donors or members of a symphony performing group.

In addition to the mailing campaign, the symphony will hold a phone-a-thon at a time to be announced in February.

“We’ll have volunteers and board members to help, and I think Maestro will help too,” Welsh said.

Proceeds generated by the annual fund drive will help the symphony support its seven-concert subscription series as well as its outreach initiatives, including its youth orchestra, children’s choruses, Young People’s concerts, adult chorus and Community Strings programs.

“The JSO raises funds to help support the symphony’s overall operating budget,” Welsh said. “The annual fund drive is crucial to our success as an organization.

“Ticket sales cover less than half of our operating expenses, and the annual fund drive helps to fill that funding gap.”

All donations are 100 percent tax deductible and can be made by calling the symphony office at 535-6738 or going online at

Donations also can be mailed to Johnstown Symphony Orchestra, 300 Market St., Suite 303, Johns­town, Pa. 15901.

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