Today is #GivingTuesday

December 3rd, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

The days after Thanksgiving have become synonymous with the pursuit of bargains. From “Black Friday” to “Cyber Monday,” retailers try to pull us away from the intended purpose of the holiday season. This year, the HSO is joining a group of charitable and socially conscious organizations that would live to encourage you to give thanks and give back this Thanksgiving.

Today is “Giving Tuesday.”


In the spirit of Thanksgiving, we hope you will show your thanks by giving back to the charitable organizations that make this community thrive. Please consider making a gift to the Hartford Symphony Orchestra today.

Your gift makes it possible for us to bring the highest level of artistry to Connecticut.

From the concert hall to the classroom, the HSO enhances the lives of young people from throughout Connecticut through our educational and communityengagement programs.

The HSO has been bringing the joy of music to the region for 70 years. We invite you to help us keep the momentum going and create harmony in Hartford for years to come.

Our music would not be possible without your generous support. Please give generously and join us in celebrating 70 seasons of artistry, community, harmony and symphony.

Make your gift by December 31 to take advantage of potential tax savings!

Three easy ways to give:
Donate Now online
• Call 860-246-8742, ext. 326, Monday – Friday, 9am-5pm
• Mail to: 100 Pearl Street, 2nd Floor, East Tower. Hartford, CT 06103

A contribution to the HSO’s Annual Fund is an investment in our community and the music you love.

46 days until LIFE: The Connecticut River Watershed Council

March 12th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

As we count down to the April 27 performance of LIFE: A Journey Through Time, we will highlight our LIFE community sponsors, continuing today with The Connecticut River Watershed Council:


The Connecticut River Watershed Council (CRWC) is the primary citizen’s advocate for the entire Connecticut River and its four-state watershed. Since 1952, our members have helped to protect water—the river, its tributaries, lakes, fish – and the land, plants, and creatures connected to that water.  CRWC’s day-to-day work stretches from the Quebec border to the tides of Long Island Sound and helps preserve an amazing natural heritage for future generations. Our efforts include habitat restoration, river cleanups, outreach and education, and advocacy. Join us today to make a difference in the health of the river and your community.

Aerial of Oxbow and Oxbow Marina on Connecticut Rivernear Holyoke Ridge and Mount Tom, Northampton, MA

Aerial of Oxbow and Oxbow Marina on Connecticut Rivernear Holyoke Ridge and Mount Tom, Northampton, MA

How to show your support:

Join the Connecticut River WateCT Watershed_S2S 2010 boy with 2 bags - John Stack aka SpiritDog Photography - originalrshed Council for the 17th annual Source to Sea Cleanup. On October 4thand 5th, volunteers will help remove debris from the Connecticut River, local tributaries and their shores.  Sign up by yourself or organize a group – congregations, schools, scouting chapters and businesses enjoy working together on this annual event. Last year more than 2,000 volunteers helped to remove 99+ tons of trash from the river. For more information on this event contact Jacqueline Talbot at (860) 704-0057.

To become a member of CRWC, pledge your support or learn about corporate sponsorship opportunities, please contact Dana Gillette at (413) 772-2020, ext. 202 or You can also join or donate online at

Sunset over Connecticut River from Charter Oak Bridge, Hartford, CT

Sunset over Connecticut River from Charter Oak Bridge, Hartford, CT

Why the Arts are Better than Fruitcake

December 4th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

It’s officially the holidays, which means it’s gift-giving season! Over the past few years, I’ve realized that we, as a society, have an excessive amount of “stuff”. This is why I want to encourage all of you to save yourselves the pain of driving and parking at the mall or big box stores, as well as the crowds and lines. (I swear it’s not because I want that good parking space for myself.)

Instead, give something a little more special for the holidays this year–give your friends and families the arts. Experiencing a performance, a night out with the girls, or a family outing gives so much more than say, a scented candle or bath salts or the dreaded obligatory tie…or worse, a chia pet. Make a memory together that will be something that will bring joy for years to come. Who knows? Perhaps you will start a wonderful tradition for you and the people special to you. As an added bonus, you’ll be contributing to the vibrancy and success of your local arts organizations! (Be honest, you know that chia pet will not give you a nice family memory.)

We at the Hartford Symphony have concerts that are perfect for just about everyone (of course). If you want to create that holiday tradition, bring the family to the Holiday Cirque Spectacular right around Christmas–it’s perfect for everyone, even your little ones. The music is fabulous, yet familiar for those not “into” classical music. For those who find comfort in the familiar classics, make an outing to our performance of Handel’s Messiah with CONCORA.

If you want to give someone the gift of the concert experience later in the year (and I’m telling you, you do), our Masterworks series is perfect for the classical music lover–from Mozart to Gershwin, even some unexpected programming. For the all-out romantic, we’ve got it covered too. Our Pops! series has concerts for the food lover (so don’t buy those rooster pot holders), the baseball fanatic, and the musical theatre lover.

One of our newer series, Jazz & Strings is perfect for your funkier friend who will love concerts featuring tributes to Wes Montgomery and Billie Holiday–which means you don’t have to buy that Jerry Garcia tie. You have an art lover? We have our Sunday Serenades chamber series at the Wadsworth Atheneum which features programming inspired by art in absolutely lovely surroundings. Do you have an ardent environmentalist? A photography buff? Our special multimedia event, LIFE: A Journey Through Time is perfect for both.

Of course, I’d be remiss if I didn’t remind you that you can also make a donation to the HSO In Honor of of your favorite music lover for the holidays, or In Memory of a beloved music lover who has passed. This will help us to bring the gift of music to everyone in our community. And, it’s really easy to wrap (hello, going green!).

We also want to encourage you to support our fellow arts organizations throughout the season–there’s so much going on and we don’t want you to miss any of it! The HSO is part of Christmas with the Hartford Chorale. The impressive CONNetic Dance Company has a funky production of The Nutcracker Suite & Spicy. Both Hartford Stage and Theaterworks have great holiday productions. If you want something a little less holiday-themed, check out Playhouse on Park’sDriving Miss Daisy.


For the greater good of all of us (and digestive systems everywhere), forgo the fruitcake and gift the arts instead! (wikicommons, user Jonathunder)

However you decide to gift your friends and family this year, we do hope that you will remember your local arts organizations as perfect options for just about everyone! I promise, your loved ones will thank you for not buying them more scented lotion or fruitcake but giving them something a little more special. The arts never go stale…but then again, I’m not sure fruitcake does either. Happy Holidays!

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