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Palm Beach Symphony Releases Impact Report & Proves Arts Can Thrive During Pandemic


Newly released report demonstrates 46-year-old organization is once again a cultural pioneer during the pandemic.

Palm Beach Symphony Releases Impact Report & Proves Arts Can Thrive During Pandemic

The Palm Beach Symphony has released its 2019/20 Impact Report offering insight into how one of South Florida's legendary arts institutions became a cultural innovator once again during the pandemic as it continued its mission of engaging, educating and entertaining the greater community of the Palm Beaches and beyond.

"The theme of our recently concluded 46th Season was 'Dare to Dream' yet none of us could have imagined a season in which schools and concert halls would close," said Palm Beach Symphony CEO David McClymont. "Through the unwavering commitment of our supporters and patrons and the total dedication of our board, staff, musicians and volunteers, we were able to find new ways to connect with the community and make a difference. This report documents their tremendous contributions."

The season began with record-breaking attendance at concerts and events contributing to a 100% increase in revenue over the past five years. In his first season as Music Director, Emmy Award-winner Gerard Schwarz created a highly anticipated season that increased subscriptions by 52%. Tickets to social events were equally coveted with the 2020 annual black-tie gala raising nearly one million dollars and the annual Holly Jolly Symphony Fête raising nearly 150% more than the previous year.

Understanding the Symphony's importance to Palm Beach County, 70% of ticket holders donated the value of the tickets back to the Symphony for concerts cancelled due to the pandemic and then followed it online, boosting the Symphony's YouTube viewership by 127%.

Recognized by the Cultural Council for Palm Beach County with the 2020 Muse Award for Outstanding Community Engagement early in the season, the Symphony continued to earn the honor with innovative programming. The Symphony reached more than 8,000 students through performances, coaching and workshops, including a 42% increase in hours of music instruction. A percussion workshop to all secondary school music teachers was presented for the School District of Palm Beach County followed by the Symphony commissioning musicians to create 48 instructional online videos for students (featuring 12 instruments) when in-school instruction was no longer possible.

The Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties enabled the Symphony to offer "Nurturing Notes" programs with Creative Arts Therapies of the Palm Beaches for children at Quantum House and Palm Beach Children's Hospital at St. Mary's in West Palm Beach. As social distancing created a new hurdle, a series of fun, interactive video sessions were created.

Vibrant community collaboration began on stage with Palm Beach Atlantic University Oratorio Chorus, The Choral Society of the Palm Beaches and The Masterworks Chorus of the Palm Beaches and in the classroom with teaching artists from Demitrius Klein Dance Company and the South Florida Science Center and Aquarium. Encouraging hope during the pandemic, the Symphony, Palm Beach Opera, Ballet Palm Beach and The Maltz Jupiter Theatre created a viral YouTube performance of Barry Manilow's "One Voice," which so moved the composer that he shared the video with his 4.4 million Facebook followers.

"Palm Beach Symphony began with a part-time conductor as a grass roots organization and, as that implies, our roots have taken hold in the community over decades," McClymont said. "We look forward to helping the community and those we serve continue to grow and flourish in the months and years ahead."

The Palm Beach Symphony 2019/20 Impact Report may be viewed at:

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