Oregon Symphony 2018 Gala Raises Record $1.15M

 April 17, 2018

(PORTLAND, Ore.) – Following a dramatic drum roll by the Obo Addy Drummers, Oregon Symphony President Scott Showalter took the stage at the 2018 Oregon Symphony Gala to announce that $1.15M was raised that evening in support of the orchestra. This marks the fourth consecutive year the Symphony has broken its fund raising record, making it one of the highest grossing fundraising events in the region. Gala attendees cheered loudly as a spectacular fireworks display lit up across ten enormous video screens surrounding them in the Portland Art Museum’s Kridel Ballroom.

The evening began with the Symphony’s annual community concert held at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall. Showalter welcomed a capacity crowd of nearly 3,000 music lovers including over 400 gala attendees who enjoyed a free classical concert led by Music Director Carlos Kalmar. The program, titled “Classically Unexpected,” showcased the virtuosity of the Symphony’s resident musicians who performed as solo artists in works by Derek Bermel, Antonio Vivaldi, Mikhail Glinka, Ralph Vaughan Williams, and Richard Strauss.

Between pieces, the 2018 Schnitzer Wonder Award, created by Jordan Schnitzer in honor of his parents Harold and Arlene Schnitzer, was presented to the Metropolitan Youth Symphony (MYS), represented by Music Director Raúl Gómez and Executive Director Diana Scoggins. The award included a $10,000 contribution to MYS. After the concert, gala guests walked across the South Park blocks to the Portland Art Museum where they enjoyed a cocktail hour with a surprise fanfare by the Brass Quartet of the Metropolitan Youth Symphony followed by a three-course dinner in the Kridel Ballroom.

The program included a poignant solo performance by celebrated Portland vocalist, Storm Large. The room fell silent as she stood alone in a pool of light with her ukulele and sang “Roxy,” a tender lullaby which she wrote with a new mother as part of The Lullaby Project, a collaboration between the Oregon Symphony and Portland Homeless Family Solutions – and a part of the Oregon Symphony’s ambitious 2017/18 Sounds of Home season which brought awareness to timely community issues of immigration, the environment, and homelessness. 

Moved by the success of the evening, Showalter expressed his gratitude to all the guests noting, “This support, along with that of all of our annual donors will make possible the broadest and most diverse array of outreach programs in the state. I look forward to our future!”


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The Grammy-nominated Oregon Symphony ranks as one of America’s major orchestras. Led by Music Director Carlos Kalmar, it serves over 300,000 people annually through more than 110 concerts and through its award-winning education and community engagement programs. Now in its 122nd year, the Oregon Symphony is the oldest orchestra west of the Mississippi.

An unprecedented 2016/17 Season broke records in virtually every category, drawing historic attendance and revenue. These numbers were propelled by a 20% increase in the number of classical concerts, three groundbreaking SoundSights concerts, and the broadest-ever range of repertoire. Its 2017/18 Season builds on this success in a trailblazing new series, The Sounds of Home, which combines music and art to reflect on three critical issues in our community – immigration, the environment, and homelessness.