Throughout the holidays and after, the music will continue to echo through Jacoby Symphony Hall. As the Jacksonville Symphony emerges from one of its busiest, and most spirited, parts of the season, the musicians and staff look forward to what the remainder of the season holds. One of the most exciting performances to come? The 2018 Gala featuring the multiple GRAMMY winning Renée Fleming. On the evening of January 20, Ms. Fleming will make her Jacksonville Symphony debut under the baton of Music Director Courtney Lewis.
Not only will this be an evening of grandeur for those in attendance, but also the biggest fundraising opportunity of the season for the symphony. Many concertgoers think that ticket sales make up the bread and butter of the symphony’s profits, but actually, ticket sales only account for forty percent of annual revenue. In fact, it is the annual fund campaigns that make up the lifeblood of not only the Jacksonville Symphony, but of any non-profit organization.
Currently, the average price of a ticket to hear the Jacksonville Symphony perform is $40. If the organization charged the price required to cover all of the costs associated with running the symphony at its highest level, tickets would cost upwards of $100 each. It is philanthropy and annual donations that make an accessible ticket price possible. So how does the Jacksonville Symphony manage to compensate for the other sixty percent?
Because community engagement and educational outreach is an important part of the Jacksonville Symphony’s mission, every year foundation and government grant applications are submitted, corporate sponsors are found and individuals donate their own tax-deductible, charitable contributions to help continue this mission. The Jacksonville Symphony would not be able to bring incredible artists, such as Renée Fleming, to Jacksonville without the support of the city and the businesses and community members that make it thrive.
These grants, and over two-thousand corporate and individual donors, are the monetary pillars that allow the Jacksonville Symphony to continue serving the community of Jacksonville. The symphony strives to be multi-faceted in the programs it produces: from pops shows, movies being performed with a live score, all the way to the timeless masterwork classics. Here, there is an understanding that an appreciation for music comes in all different forms and the symphony works to cater to as many Jacksonville citizens as it can through its varied programming.
The symphony’s education programs bring music to over seventy-thousand students annually. With the exception of the school system, the Jacksonville Symphony is the largest music education entity in North Florida and that is a title the symphony wears with pride.
In studies, it has been found that, as a whole, Jacksonville is incredibly proud of its orchestra. That being said, there is a continual influx of new faces and new families that choose to make the vibrant city of Jacksonville their home each year.
The Jacksonville Symphony is challenged every season by the community to produce artistic performances of the highest quality while making it accessible for those in every part of Jacksonville. This is a challenge happily accepted as we continually re-invent the ways a symphony can connect with its city. In turn, the symphony would like to challenge you, Jacksonville. If you have never attended a symphony concert before, take a look at the schedule; pick one or two that seem interesting, tickets start at $19! For those who are avid symphony-goers: think about making a donation that will allow us to continue serving the community we all belong to. And to those who have donated and actively support the financial pillars of our organization: thank you for allowing us to continue our artistic, community and educational mission in the cultural life of Jacksonville.