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PORTLAND, Maine – The Portland Symphony Orchestra (PSO) announced two sources of community support that will fund education and family-friendly activities in future seasons, one from a Lincoln County-focused foundation and the other from concert attendees at the 2011 performances of Magic of Christmas.

With support from the Elizabeth Ann Leach Charitable Trust, the PSO will present two KinderKonzerts at Waldoboro’s Waldo Theatre for the next two years, starting with the 2012-13 season. KinderKonzerts are entertaining, interactive programs designed for kids ages 4–7 to explore the different families of musical instruments and experience live classical music performances. The PSO performs KinderKonzerts for over 14,000 children a year across the state; Waldoboro has been home to some of the KinderKonzerts’ largest audiences.

“The Waldoboro community values KinderKonzerts and has helped maintain the Symphony’s presence in their community,” explained Heather Sumner, PSO Education and Community Engagement Manager. “It’s been gratifying to have the Leach Foundation step up to say ‘this is important to Waldoboro’s children’  and provide a stable funding source for continuing these concerts.”

This news comes on the heels of an innovative approach to fundraising at the Magic of Christmas concerts. Nicknamed the “$10 Candy Cane Campaign,” the Symphony asked Magic attendees to donate $10 towards funding a Discovery concert, an affordable family-friendly program featuring the full orchestra and pre-concert activities with musicians. The PSO’s first Discovery concert, held in October 2011, was a sellout and generated tremendous positive response.  Magic audiences responded enthusiastically to this campaign, which raised almost $40,000 towards future Discovery concerts.

“We are deeply overwhelmed and grateful to our Magic attendees who helped underwrite Discovery concerts, and to our generous community members who support music enrichment programs in Maine,” said PSO Executive Director Lisa Dixon.  “Their support is directly benefiting children and families, allowing the Symphony to keep ticket prices affordable and provide arts education activities throughout the region. Every gift, even $10, really makes a difference.”

Details about the PSO’s KinderKonzerts are online at portlandsymphony.org. The 2012-13 season, with information about Discovery concerts, will be announced in the spring.

About the Portland Symphony Orchestra:
Founded in 1923, the Portland Symphony Orchestra (PSO) is the largest performing arts organization in Maine and is widely regarded as one of the top symphony orchestras of its size in the country. Made up of more than 80 professional musicians, the PSO is renowned for its critically acclaimed performances and broad community engagement.

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