PNC Donates $500,000 to Support the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s Community Outreach and Access Initiatives
At the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s (BSO) annual Gala Celebration on Saturday, September 11, PNC Greater Maryland Regional President and BSO Gala Chair Louis (Lou) R. Cestello announced from stage a $500,000 gift from PNC. This leadership gift will underwrite for three seasons the Orchestra’s outreach and access initiatives, including continued affordable ticket pricing, the Off the Cuff series, the Music Matters campaign, OrchKids and Midweek Education Concerts.
In 2007, PNC provided leadership support of $1 million to launch the BSO’s landmark, multi-year ticket initiative that made all subscription seats available for just $25 beginning with the 2007-2008 season. This historic pricing structure resulted in a 17% increase in the total number of Baltimore subscribers and cemented the BSO’s commitment to accessible ticket pricing. PNC’s most recent grant enables the BSO to offer affordable tickets and reach new audiences in this and future seasons. BSO Music Director Marin Alsop’s engaging series, Off the Cuff, also reaches new audiences by introducing classical repertoire to any level of symphonic enthusiast. As a key supporter of both these initiatives, PNC plays a significant role in further expanding the BSO’s reach into the community it serves.
A portion of the grant aligns with PNC Grow Up Great , a 10-year, $100 million school readiness initiative designed to help children from birth to age five to arrive at school ready to learn, PNC’s contribution also supports several of the BSO’s programs for youth, including OrchKids and the Midweek Education Concerts. The BSO’s OrchKids program provides year-round music lessons, tutoring, after-school care and free meals to more than 200 pre-K through 3rd grade students in West Baltimore. Through the Midweek Education Concerts, the BSO provides almost 35,000 students each year with an affordable and age-appropriate live concert experience.