Portland, OR. Following a 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 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 benefits in the region. Attendees at the April 14th gala cheered loudly as a fireworks display lit up ten large video screens in the Portland Art Museum’s Kridel Ballroom. Chanteuse Storm Large, Oregon Symphony Music Director Carlos Kalmar, Oregon Symphony President Scott Showalter, and songwriter Naomi LaViolette all took time for a photo together.

A photo set complete with musical instruments was a fun addition to the cocktail hour in Portland Art Museum’s Field’s Ballroom. Pictured here are Jeffrey & Kristen Johnson, Oregon Symphony Board President Bob Harrison with his wife, Janis and Carey & Lance Killian. (Photo credit, Rachel Hadiashar)

Scott Showalter presented the Fourth Annual Schnitzer Wonder Award to Metropolitan Youth Symphony Executive Direct Diana Scoggins and Music Direct Raúl Gómez. The Schnitzer Wonder Award was created in 2015 by Jordan Schnitzer to honor his parents, Harold and Arlene Schnitzer. The award honors an individual or organization that directly works to build community through the next generation of artists and/or student musicians.

Symphony supporters gather for festivities at the Portland Art Museum. 

One highlight of the evening was a special appearance by Storm Large, who sang Roxy’s Lullaby, a song written as part of the Lullaby Project, in which Oregon Symphony partnered with Portland Homeless Family Solutions to connect local musicians with mothers in need, to compose and record original lullabies for their children.

Oregon Symphony’s biggest supporters came out in full force to celebrate and contribute to the evening’s record results. Shown here are guests of Umpqua Bank (clockwise from back row left): Brian Detman, Katherine Deumling, Rosalie Mcdougall, Umpqua Bank Executive Vice President and Oregon Symphony Board member Eve Callahan, Cherrie Abraham, Keith Lykins, Nandi Ngubentombi, Scott Taylor, Rose Bond, and Georgina Hayns.

Oregon Symphony Gala co-chair Dan Drinkward dressed up for a photograph with Scott Showalter and Maestro Carlos Kalmar.

Jordan Schnitzer, President and Director of gala sponsor The Harold & Arlene Schnitzer Care Foundation, made an impromptu speech about the importance of funding for the arts in schools. His remarks came at the beginning of the paddle raise which would go on to raise a record-setting $1.15 million. He’s shown here with benefit auctioneer Johnna Wells.

Drummers from the Obo Addy Legacy Project, led by Alex Addy, thrilled the audience and built momentum leading towards the announcement of the grand total.

OSA Board member Kris Kern and her husband Michael Kern were among the named sponsors of the event. Shown here are Oregon Symphony Associate Concertmaster Peter Frajola, Oregon Symphony Concertmaster Sarah Kwak, Michael Kern, Kris Kern.

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.