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BPO trumpets start of $30 million campaign

from BPO.org

The chairman of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra Board of Trustees is kicking off the orchestra's new fundraising campaign with a $1 million gift. The gift from Lou Ciminelli will help reach the ambitious goal of $30 million.

It's called the Crescendo Campaign, which officials say will help boost the BPO endowment to over $50 million.

"We shot at a goal to have an endowment that was five times our annual budget," Ciminelli told WBFO News.

"That is a benchmark of a healthy orchestra."

Times and hopes have certainly changed for the orchestra. Recalling board meetings from the early 1990's, Ciminelli said the sessions would often deal with how to meet payroll for a given week. 

The fiscal situation turned when musicians and management began to develop a greater trust, Ciminelli said.

He also gives credit to BPO Executive Director Daniel Hart. The $1 million Ciminellii gift was bestowed in his honor.

JoAnn Falletta's role as BPO Music Director is another key. He cites how Falletta's personality has worked well within the community. It has also played well within the orchestra.

In anticipation of the success of the Crescendo Campaign, the organization will use $10 million in endowment funds to establish the Next Generation Fund to fund efforts aimed at attracting a younger BPO audience.