Because we believe great music can elevate the human spirit, the Purpose of the Guild is to foster, promote and facilitate the operation of the Utah Symphony Orchestra financially, socially and educationally.
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Guild Beginnings In   1941,   a   group   of   interested   women   formed   the   Women’s   Symphony   Committee.   They   met   in   each other’s homes for music study, gave parties and raised money for the orchestra. Seven   years   later,   when   Maurice   Abravanel   arrived   in   Utah   in   1947,   these   same   women   formed   a Women’s Division to continue their support of the Symphony. The   Utah   Symphony   Women’s   Guild   was   not   organized   until   1953,   when   Margaret   Beecher,   who   had been   at   a   meeting   of   the   Denver   Symphony   Women’s   Guild,   met   with   Lucy   Abravanel,   Becky   Almond and   others   to   form   a   guild   in   Utah.   They   worked   in   the   ticket   office,   had   luncheons   for   visiting   artists and   continued   to   organize   fund-raising   activities.   The   money   was   invested,   and   with   the   profit,   a   set   of chimes was purchased which was given to the orchestra from the Women’s Symphony Guild. The   first   Membership   Tea   was   held   in   1954.   Dues   were   $3.00   and   two   hundred   and   seventy   women joined.   The   first   Symphony   Ball   was   held   in   November   1958,   in   the   Hotel   Utah   Motor   Lodge,   featuring Paul   Whiteman.   Tickets   were   $25.00   per   couple.   Over   the   years,   guild   functions   included   soirees, receptions and Progress Fund Drives. This   was   the   beginning   of   many   interesting   and   varied   experiences   for   hundreds   of   guild   members   who gave   their   time,   money   and   hard   work   to   promote   the   growth   of   The   Utah   Symphony.   New   programs were   added   such   as   the   docent   program   in   the   schools,   a   Symphony   Store,   a   newsletter,   a   directory   and a   Youth   Guild   sponsoring   competition.   The   name   was   modified   to   the   Utah   Symphony   Guild,   and   the Symphony   Ball   became   an   annual   fund-raising   event.   Male   membership   was   encouraged,   the   Board increased   to   over   40,   and   the   operating   budget   grew   to   nearly   $150,000   annually   –   all   beginning   with   a handful of volunteers who donated everything from stamps to cookies.
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