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The Richmond Symphony bash at the U of R Jepson Al 

The Richmond Symphony bash at the U of R Jepson Al

On any given night, parties are held all across town to raise money for this or that good cause. But on the evening of May 25, none of the guests at a Richmond Symphony bash were asked to dig into their pockets. If you're thinking there had to be a catch, you're right. Most of the folks who gathered at the Jepson Alumni Center on the University of Richmond campus had already made donations - big bucks.

The party's purpose was to announce that the symphony had raised $5.4 million in its on-going "Renaissance" endowment campaign. It was the cap to a big week for the orchestra. George Manahan, its artistic director, had given a triumphant farewell concert, and it was announced that Mark Russell Smith would become the new maestro in September.

Jonathan Mott, concertmaster, summed up the evening in his remarks to the 150 or so patrons: "[The campaign's success] makes it clear that symphonic music is fundamental to the kind of community we want to be." Looking to the coming new era of artistic leadership - and now having the financial footing to develop further - he stressed that the orchestra must look "for a sharper focus." Regardless of the path it takes, said Mott, "Artistic excellence will be at the center of all that we do."

Among the many people recognized for making the campaign a success, an extra special thanks went to Cheryl Denbar who was the staff member who spearheaded the campaign. She went home with a colorful bouquet of flowers that she departed with Miss America-style.

And where were you?
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