Eastern Music Festival Receives Major Gift; Music Director's Chair To Be Named For Donor

Eastern Music Festival Receives Major Gift; Music Director's Chair To Be Named For Donor

Eastern Music Festival announces the receipt of a landmark gift in the amount of $500,000 from Festival patron Alan G. Benaroya of San Diego, CA. In acknowledgement and with gratitude, the EMF music director's chair will be recognized as The Alan G. Benaroya Music Director's Chair.

The inspiration for this unparalleled gift comes from Benaroya's 30-year friendship with EMF music director Gerard Schwarz, a friendship that brought Alan to EMF for the first time nearly 10 years ago. "Alan is a remarkable and passionate fan of orchestral music, and I am honored to call him my friend," says Maestro Schwarz. "Alan's family were huge and influential supporters of the Seattle Symphony during my tenure there. Benaroya Hall, the Symphony's home in Seattle is named in their honor, and I am thrilled that he's chosen to honor EMF with this gift."

"I am so grateful to Jerry and his family for the music that they have brought into my life," says Benaroya. "As an audience member, I've learned so much about the passion and determination needed to make a career in music. Every summer, I listen to EMF's professional musicians with amazement, and I enjoy seeing the Festival's young people blossom right before my eyes. The musicians and staff, students and patrons have been so kind and giving. This is my way of saying 'Thank you' to the Schwarzes and to everyone at EMF for welcoming me into the family."

"I am nearly speechless," says EMF Executive Director Chris Williams. "Alan is helping to set EMF on a new path. His generosity - both as a donor and as a friend - has us all awestruck."

For almost six decades, Eastern Music Festival has been produced each summer on the campus of Guilford College, at UNCG and at other venues in the Greensboro area. EMF is distinguished by its accomplished faculty, exhilarating repertoire and world-renowned visiting artists. A powerful teaching institution, EMF provides encouragement and guidance to over 225 young musicians from across the country and around the globe as they take their first steps towards careers in the performing arts. During the five-week annual festival, EMF presents more than 65 concerts under the artistic direction of Gerard Schwarz. In addition, 30-plus outreach performances are performed throughout the region.

EMF provides more than $350,000 in scholarship support to deserving and talented students each year, employs more than 100 performing artists and support staff each season and enlivens the Greensboro and Triad community through its performances and outreach activities.

Eastern Music Festival's mission is to promote musical enrichment, excellence, professional collaboration, innovation and diversity through a nationally recognized teaching program, music festival, concerts and other programs which will enhance the quality of life, health and vitality of our region.

EMF is a 501(c)3 nonprofit governed by a volunteer board of 25 directors and managed by a professional staff of five.

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