Friends of the Symphony
The Friends of the Symphony supports your Fort Collins Symphony through fundraising efforts, volunteering, and the Friends Endowment. Since its first fundraising event in 1964, the Friends (formerly the Guild) has generated over $1 million of financial support for FCS. We are the largest single donor to the symphony!
The Friends of the Symphony’s Endowed Chairs, totaling $577,000.00, resides in a balanced pool at the Community Foundation of Northern Colorado. With the contribution of $23,165.00 in the Fall of 2022, the Friends have donated a total of $207,142.00 to support orchestra salaries.
In 1999, Kay Edwards set a goal of endowing 36 musician chairs. After 22 years of hard work, Kay not only met her goal in 2021, she exceeded it with a total of 38 endowed chairs. The Fort Collins Symphony Association is deeply grateful for Kay’s vision and commitment to supporting the orchestra. For information about how you can contribute to Symphony Endowments, please contact Mary A. Kopco at 970.482.4823.
Friends of the Symphony
Wilfred Schwartz Conductor’s Endowment Fund
Dr. Karl and Wilma Carson established the Wilfred Schwartz Conductor’s Endowment Fund at the Community Foundation of Northern Colorado in 1996 as a way to honor their dear friend Maestro Wilfred Schwartz. As longtime supporters of the Symphony, both Karl and Wilma served on its board of directors. In 2015, the Carson estate gave an additional $120,000 legacy gift to the fund, the largest single contribution in the history of the Fort Collins Symphony.
The Riedman/Women’s Guild Concertmaster Endowed Chair
To commemorate the 50th Anniversary (1949-1999) of the Fort Collins Symphony under the direction of Maestro Will Schwartz, the Guild established an endowment to sustain salaries for the orchestra in perpetuity. After a donation from the Riedman Foundation and various fundraising activities by the Guild, the first chair was named and the endowment was established at $50,000.
The Julian and Ida Siegel Assistant Concertmaster Endowed Chair
In 2011, Dr. Ed Siegel endowed the chair to honor his parents, Julian and Ida Siegel. Julian Siegel came to Fort Collins in 1923. He became a successful, community-minded businessman, and was an early supporter of both the Symphony and the establishment of the Lincoln Center.
Dorothy Gruber Horowitz Principal First Violin Endowed Chair
Mark and Nance Horowitz endowed this chair to honor Mark’s mother. Dorothy played professionally as First Violin with the South Florida Symphony during the 1980s and was a lifelong lover of violin who also played with community and chamber music groups.
Wilson and Emily Wilmarth and Family Principal Second Violin Endowed Chair
In 2013, the Wilson and Emily Wilmarth Fund endowed this chair in their honor, with the consent of Ellen Brown and Susan Greer, their daughters. Moving to Fort Collins in 1949, Wilson and Emily were early supporters of the Symphony and Lincoln Center. Wilson joined CSU as Professor of Romance Languages and later served as chair of the department until retiring in 1972.
Patricia A. Harper Assistant Principal Second Violin Endowed Chair
Judson Harper and his three sons endowed the Assistant Principal Second Violin chair to honor Patricia A. Harper, his wife of 52 years and their mother. She played the violin, enjoyed music, participated in a community orchestra in a suburb of Minneapolis, and regularly attended the Fort Collins Symphony. She actively supported many CSU and community activities.
Lilla B. Morgan Principal Viola Endowed Chair
Bryan Morgan endowed this chair in 2011 to honor his mother for her contributions to the arts in Fort Collins.
Betty-Anne and Frank Jones Assistant Principal Viola Endowed Chair
Alison and David Dennis endowed this chair in memory of Alison’s parents. Betty-Anne enjoyed playing the cello throughout her life, and both Betty-Anne and Frank experienced great pleasure in attending Fort Collins Symphony Orchestra concerts after moving here from Vermont in 1991.
Jeanise Brown Principal Cello Endowed Chair
In the fall of 2009, an effort began to endow a chair in honor of Jeanise Brown, a Guild member who passed away in August 2009. Proceeds from a CD of Jeanise singing jazz standards, accompanied by Mark Sloniker on piano and Gene Libbea on bass, raised over $13,000 to endow this chair.
Joannah L. Merriman Assistant Principal Cello Endowed Chair
This endowment is dedicated to Joannah’s parents, Rosemary and Albert Joseph, who filled her life with music and cultural experiences from the time she was a young child. Both parents sang to her and her siblings at home, at the lake, and on road trips, took them to “Shakespeare in the Park” and to symphony performances in Toledo, Ohio.
Bettie Wilcox Principal Bass Endowed Chair
Bettie’s children—Dianne Harper of Fort Collins, Tim Hervey of Louisville, and Betsi Stephen of Chevy Chase, Maryland—have endowed this chair to honor their mother’s memory and love of music. During her long life, she worked to build the Fort Collins Symphony. In high school, she played a bass violin in the orchestra and participated in an all-girl orchestra. She was invited into the original symphony group, but declined due to demands of motherhood. She served in many capacities in the Fort Collins Symphony Guild.
Freddy Martin Woodwinds Endowed Chair
In 2007, an endowed chair was established in memory of the late Freddy Martin, a respected American band leader and tenor saxophonist who was well known from the 1930s to the early 1980s.
The Renate Justin, M.D. Principal Flute Endowed Chair
In the spring of 2010, Renate Justin, M.D., endowed this chair in memory of her granddaughter, Johanna Justin-Jinich. Renate was a long-term member of the Symphony Guild who, along with Johanna, provided refreshments for the orchestra for many years.
Mary A. Kopco Second Flute Endowed Chair
Friends of Mary A. Kopco established an endowed chair to commemorate her outstanding dedication, devotion, and diligence as Executive Director of the Fort Collins Symphony since February 2015. Ms. Kopco has focused extraordinary attention and exceptional creativity to all aspects of her position, including budgeting, grant-writing, programming, and organizational management. May this chair be a constant expression of gratitude for her excellent leadership in the FCS.
Gayle Wunder Third Flute Endowed Chair
Gayle Wunder’s children, Michael and Kristin, endowed this chair to honor the memory of their mother and the time they spent together as children at the Lincoln Center. Gayle was an enthusiastic supporter of the arts in Fort Collins where she served multiple terms as president of the Symphony Guild and led numerous fundraising initiatives for the broader arts community.
Fern Bennett Principal Piccolo Endowed Chair
The Fern Bennett Piccolo Chair was endowed by the Bennett family to honor the memory of Fern Bennett, who greatly enjoyed music and supported the Fort Collins Symphony for many years as an active member of the Symphony Guild.
David and Alison Dennis Principal Oboe Endowed Chair
Alison Dennis played Second Oboe with the Jakarta Symphony Orchestra, a highlight for her when she and David lived in Indonesia in the 1970s. David and Alison particularly admire and enjoy the oboe as an orchestral instrument.
The Walter Scott McColl Second Oboe Endowed Chair
Marty McColl Marsh, husband Scott Marsh, and brother Bruce McColl endowed this chair for Marty and Bruce’s father Scott, who was a 1938 graduate of Chicago’s Lane Tech High School. He was the first place oboe solo winner for the city of Chicago and a member of the Oak Park Symphony Orchestra before joining the Marines in 1941 and participating in the Iwo Jima landing.
Bob and Joyce Everitt Principal English Horn Endowed Chair
Joyce and Bob Everitt, and their family have contributed greatly to Colorado State University and the Fort Collins community. They have been long-term supporters of the Fort Collins Symphony as well as the Lincoln Center.
Bill and Ruth Brown Principal Clarinet Endowed Chair
Bill and Ruth Brown have endowed the principal clarinet chair to honor all of the music teachers in the middle and high schools in and around Fort Collins. These teachers are helping to train and inspire the next generation of musicians and music lovers – some of whom may indeed become members of the Fort Collins Symphony.
Cindy Haraway Second Clarinet Endowed Chair
Cindy Haraway endowed this chair in memory of Maestro Will Schwartz. She played second clarinet in the Fort Collins Symphony for many years, and served on the Board of Directors for eight years. She is a founder of the Fort Collins Wind Symphony, and has been playing in this group since its inception in 1991. Cindy founded Boomer Music Company in 1976 as a way to give back to the music community that has so generously supported her.
Tom Bittinger Principal Bassoon Endowed Chair
Dr. Bev Donnelley and Bill West endowed this chair to honor Tom Bittinger, who has played as Principal Bassoonist with the Fort Collins Symphony for most of his adult life. He and his wife, Beth Wells, have served on several orchestra committees and as orchestra representatives to the Symphony board.
Tom Gleason Second Bassoon Endowed Chair
In the fall of 2018, wife Ginnie and family endowed this chair in honor of their husband and father. Tom led and served in many capacities at First National Bank for 50 years, and as such, was a community builder, and a generous supporter of the Fort Collins Symphony. He was an avid cyclist, and at the age of 60 ran a New York Marathon.
Pat and Edna Rizley Griffin Principal Horn Endowed Chair
The Griffin Foundation endowed this chair to honor the memory of Pat and Edna Griffin, who supported the Fort Collins Symphony for many years. Edna, for whom the Edna Rizley Griffin Concert Hall at the University Center for the Arts is named, was a long-time member of the Symphony Guild, and served on the Symphony Board of Directors.
Melanie Valente Second Horn Endowed Chair
In October 2019, Joe Valente endowed this chair in memory of his wife Melanie who sat on the board of the Fort Collins Symphony and was a Symphony Season ticket holder since moving to Fort Collins in 2001. Melanie & Joe enjoyed many adventures traveling all over the world. She was an avid hiker, conquering six 14ers around Colorado, and loved to snowshoe, snorkel, bird watch and garden. Fort Collins composer Chris Pilsner was commissioned to write a new piece of music to honor the 70th anniversary of the Fort Collins Symphony and in memory of Melanie. The piece debuted at the first concert of the 2019-20 Season.
Sharyn H. & Larry J. Salmen Third Horn Endowed Chair
In 2021, Sharyn H. & Larry J. Salmen endowed this chair to honor all of the friendships made during Women’s Guild of the Fort Collin Symphony (Friends of the Symphony) fundraisers, educational programs, and membership events. Through their efforts, Sharyn—a Past President and Honorary Life Member—and Larry have supported the performance of live symphonic music in the community. For the Salmens, “It’s all been about the Music!”
Clark Livingston Principal Trumpet Endowed Chair
Tom and Marie Livingston endowed this chair to honor Tom’s father who served in the infantry and played trumpet in the World War II Military Band. At Colmar, France, the band played for dignitaries after the Normandy invasion. After earning his PhD, Clark became a Colorado A & M (now Colorado State University) professor in the Department of Botany and Plant Pathology and served as director of the Aggie Band.
Jessica Stewart Wyllie 2nd/Associate Principal Trumpet Chair
Jessica Stewart Wyllie has lived, worked and volunteered in Fort Collins since 1980, and is thrilled to support the Fort Collins Symphony. The trumpet’s regal history dates back to biblical times. It was used to rally troops onto the battlefield, signal war and peace, precede celebrations and announce the entrance of kings and royalty. At the sound of the trumpet everything changes! Lift up your heads and listen.
Lynnette C. Jung Trombone Chair
Dr. Peter Springberg endowed this chair in loving memory of his late wife, a retired Air Force Mental Health specialist who was a strong supporter of many local non-profits, the Fort Collins Symphony and other arts organizations among them. Lynnette worked part-time as a pro bono therapist, and was especially interested in veterans with PTSD and abused women and children.
Paisley Pettine Second Trombone Endowed Chair
Dr. Kenneth Pettine endowed this chair in honor of his wife, Paisley. Paisley has served with great joy for many years as a board member of the FCSA. As a long-time Pilates instructor, she understands how both physical movement and music sustain, inspire, soothe and heal the body and the soul.
William E. Runyan Principal Bass Trombone Endowed Chair
In 2011, Myra Monfort endowed this chair to honor her husband who performed with the Fort Collins Symphony for 39 years. Bill writes the wonderfully informative and artfully written program notes for the Fort Collins Symphony Masterworks programs.
Dane Johnson Principal Tuba Endowed Chair
In 2018, Doug Johnson endowed this chair to honor his son, Dane Johnson, who loves and has played the tuba since starting middle school. Dane lettered in music and has performed in wind ensembles, jazz bands and at a local favorite, Tuba Christmas on several occasions.
Wayne & Phyllis Schrader Principal Timpani Endowed Chair
The Schraders are lifelong residents of Fort Collins who support many local non-profits, including the Fort Collins Symphony, Lincoln Center, University Center for the Arts, City Library, and Museum of Discovery, to name a few.
Harrison Principal Percussion Endowed Chair
In 2013, Guild members Graham and Joanne Harrison endowed this chair, stating “It’s fun to watch the percussion instruments being played during concerts.”
Josephine Kathryn Guerriero Principal Triangle Endowed Chair
Through the Emerging Leaders Program, sponsored by the Bohemian Foundation, parents Jennifer Johnson and Michael Guerriero used their matching donation to honor their daughter Josephine, who loves music- especially percussion.
Kepler Principal Harp Endowed Chair
In fall 2012, the Kepler Harp Chair was endowed by friends of Kay Kepler Edwards to honor her dedication to the Guild endowment.
Kathryn Edwards Principal Piano Endowed Chair
In August 2010, Kay Edwards endowed the piano chair to honor her pianist friends Clare Wilber and Mark Sloniker, as well as her family—husband Larry, children Robert, Susan, Jennifer, and Jonathan; grandsons Alex, Nicholas, Andrew, Owen, Evan, Elliot, and Finn; and granddaughter Josephine.
Marie L. Schall Organ Endowed Chair
Loren and Fran Schall have gifted this organ chair in loving memory of Loren’s mom who was a piano prodigy as a young girl, a Church organist beginning in her early teens, and an accomplished classical pianist whose favorite composers were Chopin and Liszt.
Tom Sutherland Celeste Endowed Chair
In February 2013, Jean Sutherland endowed this chair to honor her husband who said that music and books sustained him during his six years of captivity in Beirut, Lebanon. In addition, Tom and Jean purchased a celeste for the Fort Collins Symphony. It was played during his memorial service on August 20, 2016.