Historical Highlights by Year

1935 Women’s Committee for the Orchestra founded at Denver Country Club spring luncheon by first president, Jean (Mrs. George) Cranmer and six friends, including long-active DSG member Helen Marie Black, who became the first woman CEO of a major U. S. symphony orchestra.
1936 First residential campaign goal of $5,000 realized.
1940 Name changed to Denver Symphony Guild on April 25.
1941 DSG office opened for campaign activities at City/County Building.
1942 Goal for DSG residential campaign grew to $30,000.
1945 DSO became fully professional with 75 musicians and full-time conductor; DSG’s residential campaign goal hiked to $125,000.
1947 15 music appreciation groups formed; ticket pool started to make subscriber seats available to students, servicemen, etc.
1948 Annual dues of $2 assessed; first Honorary Life memberships given to Mrs. Lawrence Phipps, Sr. and Miss Ellen M. Weckbaugh.
1950 First two Symphony Balls presented at Shirley Savoy Hotel (moved to Brown Palace in 1952); first-ever Guild party for DSO players held at Phipps Tennis House; Sunday family concerts initiated by Guild at $1 for “as many as you can get under one umbrella” (replaced in 1956 by free City concerts); DSG speakers bureau started.
1951 Ex-officio seat on Board of Trustees designated for DSG president.
1952 Youth concerts, at 25 cents/pupil, drew 22,000 in first year.
1954 Closed telecast of Opening Night at the Metropolitan Opera and inauguration of Chamber Music project marked 20th anniversary season.
1956 Junior Guild formed within  DSG framework for under-40 women; season ticket sales assumed completely by DSG; art contest (“My Impressions of a Concert”) started in Denver Public Schools and spread to 33 systems; dues hiked to $3; DSO tenure awards initiated.
1958 $500 Guild donation started Special Gifts Fund for special needs.
1959 First season ticket telethon conducted.  Dues went to $5.
1963 Tour Guides project began 20 years of fundraising success.
1964 Matinee concerts inaugurated at Phipps Auditorium gained enormous support; DSG newsletter began.
1965 30th year celebrated with first of eight Young Artist Competitions; Business and Professional Division formed (later named Career Women’s Guild). Guild membership reached 1,056, up from 400 in 1955.
1966 Inaugural music appreciation lecture series at libraries featured appearances of orchestra members and media music critics.
1967 Tiny Tots concerts introduced by Junior Guild; first music tour of Europe sponsored by DSG; DSO concert notes put into Braille by DSG member.
1969 Music appreciation groups renamed “area units”; DSG Music Performance Group organized; second music tour to Europe sponsored by Guild.
1970 Open rehearsal/luncheons initiated by conductor Brian Priestman; Orient music tour sponsored; American Symphony Orchestra League (ASOL) joined; DSO concert coffees terminated by DSG because of cost.
1971 $15,000 Guild gift completed matching money for Ford Foundation grant; appreciation certificates replaced DSO service awards.
1972 Year-long “Opus” raffle introduced; fourth and final fundraising Rotogravure Section published in The Denver Post;  Beverly Sills benefit concert netted $18,000; work by major American composer commissioned with $5,000 DSG appropriation.
1973 Luciano Pavarotti benefit enriched DSO coffers by $35,000; Leontyne Price benefit earned $13,000; $30,000 DSG gift helped DSO make first recording; DSG Board decided Young Artists Competition no longer could be funded because it did not comply with DSG Bylaws.
1974 Sills’ return raised $21,000; “Evening in Copenhagen” benefit netted $10,000; DSG-organized tour accompanied DSO on triumphal journey to Carnegie Hall and Washington, D. C.; Guild members distributed concert programs left in seats to small businesses and professional offices.
1975 DSG celebrated 40th anniversary with DSO recognized as one of 28 major Symphony orchestras in nation; player roster increased to 87, budget to $2 million, season from 22 to 42 weeks; Juniors hiked age cutoff to 45, launched Designer Showhouse and began dreaming of independence; commissioned Weingarden piano concerto premiered by Garrick Ohlsson.
1977 Guild spearheaded $500,000 Save Our Symphony (S.O.S) Drive after contract negotiations broke down; Community Involvement Committee established to promote awareness of orchestra’s importance to community.
1978 Boettcher Concert Hall dedicated on March 4; DSG guides gave hall tours; Guild netted $35,000 on opening-week Van Cliburn benefit concert; 5,000 “Haydn in the Kitchen” cookbooks published.
1979 DSG, Juniors and Career Women became equal and autonomous organizations upon recommendation of special restructuring commission.
1981 Career Women returned to DSG; dues raised to $15, first increase in 11 years; Boutique idea conceived with poetry book and gift wrap projects.
1982 “Symphony of Art” street festival presented on East Third Avenue in Cherry Creek North (repeated in 1983 on new 16th Street Mall); Chicago Symphony benefit grossed $65,000; $2,000 won in table-setting contest.
1983 Orchestra members and longtime DSO manager Helen Black honored at luncheon commemorating DSO’s 50th anniversary season; Guild’s “His and Hers” car raffle at Brown Palace Hotel netted $29,500; Guild Boutique started on cardtable in Boettcher Concert Hall Lobby.
1984 “Classics on Ice,” starring Olympic figure skating champion Scott Hamilton, national stars and local standouts in concert with DSO at McNichols Arena, netted $100,000 for the Orchestra and won American Symphony Orchestra League award.
1985 Guild’s Golden Anniversary celebrated at Boettcher Hall with on-stage ceremony and post-concert reception.  May 19 declared Denver Symphony Guild Day by Denver Mayor Federico Pena.
1986 Changed requirements sought more commitment from members, who were asked to purchase one subscription-concert series, contribute to the DSO Annual Campaign and participate in an all-Guild project.
1987 Mary Engelter Award created  to recognize a “Volunteer of the Year” annually.and perpetuate the selfless spirit of its namesake.  First year of “Sounds Delicious.”
1988 Fall Membership Event introduced. (DSO concert season suspended for first 3 and last 12 weeks, due to financial woes )
1989 First-time  fundraiser, “Le Jazz Hot” for DSO Endowment Fund, netted $7,200. Initiated planning and organization of another new fundraiser, “Bargains Baroque” (postponed to June 1991 because of Orchestra crisis and formation of Colorado Symphony Orchestra by DSO players.)
1990-91 Held “Le Jazz Hot” fundraiser for the Music Education Fund.  Began “A
Touch of Symphony,” a new music education program for Junior High/Middle School  students, with six March-May in-school concerts.   Changed name to Colorado Symphony Guild, reflecting Reorganization Plan  merger of Denver Symphony Association and newly-formed CSO.
1991-92 Fall and spring “Pick-a-Seat” program produced $40,000 in new season-ticket sales for the Orchestra.  Inaugural  “Bargains Baroque” netted roughly $7,000 profit.
1992-93 Guild cooperation produced 6,000 volunteer hours and a  new “Front Range” Unit.   Fundraisers, annual campaign drive and in-kind volunteer hours contributed $109,592.01 in cash and monetary value to the Colorado Symphony Orchestra.
1993-94 Guild addressed  CSO Task Force recommendation that all support groups merge into a Colorado Symphony League, but no decision was made.  A record 22 “Touch of Symphony” programs were presented in Denver Metro junior high/middle schools.  CSG helped the CSA Cadillac Raffle net approximately $65,000.  Fundraisers and Volunteer Hours provided more than  $95,000 in cash and monetary value for the CSO.
1994-95 CSG Board worked to formulate plan to continue Unit operations following  affirmative preliminary vote of the membership to merge Guild into the Colorado Symphony League.  Dues were lowered.  Units produced individual rosters and the Board remained in office until Jan. 1995.  Guild projects and 7,328 volunteer hours developed some $60,000 in cash and savings for the CSO via The Symphony Shop ($18,000), Windsor Gardens concert ($2,000), nut project ($3,000), annual campaign ($29,000) and  4th Bargains Baroque ($6,000).   In  final January, 1995 merger vote, the membership chose to remain separate from the League but to become a “constituent” CSO support organization under League umbrella.  “Touch of Symphony” grew to  record 23 in-school programs during the season.
1995-96 Following membership’s rejection of  proposal to merge into the Colorado Symphony League, the Guild Board experimented with a no-Board/no-Communication setup to ease into a Unit structure without a Board.   Units functioned well, but could not go forward without a Guild Board.  Officers were elected at CSG’s annual meeting in May, 1995. All-membership activities resumed and Guild supported the Orchestra monetarily with more than $26,000.
1996-97 Building on the revitalized foundation of the previous year, Guild members concentrated on new outreach to the Metro Community, joint Unit/Guild activities, and ongoing support for the Symphony.  Results were greatly increased volunteer hours and an overall financial contribution of  more  than $32,000.  June Jazz Jamboree debuted 6/29/96 at Hudson Gardens.
1997-98 “Repeat Performance,” a Guild resale shop, opened in near-downtown Denver  but struggled due to a worker shortage; . “Rhapsody of Recipes” a cookbook featuring favorites of CSG members, CSO players and friends, was published.  The first Windsor Gardens Unit “Up Close and Musical” concert was staged, The Symphony Shop reached a season-high $20,000 in profits, and overall enthusiasm attracted 65 new CSG members!.
1998-99 An 18-member Foothills Unit was welcomed into the Guild.. New  “Enchanted Evening” dinner-dance fundraiser, combined with “Bridge (party) to Spring”, June Jazz Jamboree,  ongoing cookbook sales and a record $25,000 in Symphony Shop proceeds (a 25% increase over last year), boosted  support for the Orchestra  to  $41,621 this year.
1999-00 Responding to a challenge to participate, Guild members recorded 13,325 volunteer hours!  With the successes of Winter Fantasy (formerly “Enchanted Evening”), Bridge to Spring, the Symphony Shop and the Windsor Gardens-sponsored  “Up Close and Musical” concert, funds raised for  the CSO totalled $42,900, with an additional $2,500 credit for CSG donations to the CSO’s Cinderella Ball Auction.   In its fifth year, June Jazz Jamboree (originated by Bow Mar/Littleton Unit) became an all-Guild project and moved from Hudson Gardens to Pinehurst Country Club.  Continued lack of staffing support forced Repeat Performance.to close.
2000-01 Emphasizing “a renewed spirit of togetherness.” members supported a Mexican Fiesta membership function,  expanded  Winter Fantasy dinner dance at Pinehurst CC, Bridge to Spring at Denver CC, another “Up Close and Musical” concert at Windsor Gardens and a 6th annual June Jazz Jamboree, also at Pinehurst CC.  In December, “High Tea” made its  debut at Cherry Hills CC and  The Symphony Shop reached its goal of “$200,000 in 2000,” marking a  milestone in total dollars raised for the Orchestra since The Shop’s inception. “Togetherness” produced $55.107.92 for CSO.
2001-02 With “Music and Friendship” keying the entire Guild effort, all of the year’s goals were exceeded.  Total net revenue realized and given to the Colorado Symphony Association was $79,417, with $73,417 earmarked for  CSO-sponsored Youth Education Programs  and $6,000  presented  to Music Director Marin Alsop for the purchase of music for the Orchestra.
2002-03 In an innovative year, Winter Fantasy moved from Pinehurst CC to the Adams Mark Hotel in downtown Denver and the Annual Meeting and Installation Luncheon invaded The Island beach and volleyball club for a “Luau.”  Despite a down economy, fundraising revenue topped $60,000 and $2,000 Golden Circle dollars also were donated for music purchases. A Guild delegation of 70-100 persons attended Maestro Alsop’s final concert  as Principal CSO Conductor.
2003-04 Believing that  “Together We Can Make It Happen,” members invested 10,934+ volunteer hours in the Guild’s many established events and several new endeavors.  The latter included manning phone banks for the Channel 6 Telethon and making 1,500 follow-up calls to CSO season-ticket subscribers.  In  February, Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper attended the very successful Winter Fantasy gala and The Symphony Shop exceeded the quarter-million mark in gifts to the orchestra since its inception.  The  CSO was given $5,000 in Golden Circle funds for sheet music purchases and the CSA received $89,000 in support for a grand year-end total of $94,000.
2004-05 Celebrating the “Colorado Symphony Guild Legacy,” members com-memorated the organization’s 70 years of continuous support for the Denver/Colorado Symphony Orchestra with pride and high expectations.  A milestone birthday party added sparkle to several successful fundraising events including the Winter Fantasy Gala attended by Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper, First Lady Helen Thorpe.and other city officials .  Enhancing a very good year were $57,300 raised for the  CSO and  8,000+ volunteer hours donated by Guild members in the orchestra’s behalf.
2005-06 New CSO conductor Jeffrey Kahane added a spark to the season,which began with a Guild tent and table at each  summer park concert.  Enthusiasm ignited the September membership tea  and  November benefit concert  by vocalist Nora Robinson, CSO Education Director.  Winter Fantasy returned to Cherry Hills Country Club in February and raised $30,000.  In a new March endeavor, the Guild  prepared and served  a post-rehearsal lunch to CSO members at Boettcher Hall. With a successful Bridge to Spring event  in May and  Symphony Shop volunteers netting a season-record $25,000, the Guild gave an  all-project $63,000 to the CSO.
2006-07 “Reaching higher goals through cooperation and teamwork involving all members,” the Guild contributed 14,110 total volunteer hours in raising $71.000 for the CSO, including $23,000 earned by the Symphony Shop. Golden Circle Fund donations  underwrote sheet music purchases for the orchestra.  Traditional activities included a memorable membership tea, open rehearsals and luncheons, another successful Winter Fantasy, Bridge to Spring, Outstanding Volunteer celebration, lunch for CSO musicians and staff and Passport Club concert activities for youth and family  attendees. Special projects were a Korean BBQ  celebrating CSO concertmaster Yumi Hwang-Williams’ birthday, a concert featuring world-renowned bass baritone Simon Estes, a Symphony of Cars/Celebrity Auction at the Clive Cussler Automobile Museum spotlighting celebrity-autographed items, and a CSG-hosted American Symphony Orchestra League workshop.
2007-08 Thanks to a $10,000 bequest from former member Eva Mason, the Guild was able to underwrite the CSO’s purchase of four rotary trumpets.  Another $51,000 in fundraiser proceeds was given to the Orchestra via the Symphony of Cars, Fall Jazz event, Winter Fantasy gala, Bridge to Spring, The Symphony Shop and Unit projects.  Other fun highlights during the year were CSO Open Rehearsals, the Outstanding Volunteer Award and Annual Meeting luncheons and monthly Unit meetings with musical entertainment.  Membership increased to 309, sparked by a new Guild table at Boettcher Hall and a creative promotional card featuring Maestro Jeffrey Kahane visiting with students from their school’s stage.  In an important effort for the CSO’s future, Guild members helped  pass Denver’s $60 million bond issue for upgrading Boettcher Concert Hall.
2008-09 Welcoming the Colorado Symphony Association’s new President and CEO, James Palermo, and learning of the planned 2010 departure of Music Director Jeffrey Kahane made for an up-and-down year.  Guild dues were changed back to the June-through-May fiscal year schedule.  CSG volunteers  compiled 10,121 hours in behalf of the CSO and raised $50,200 for the orchestra.  Golden Circle funds also were donated for CSO music purchases. The Symphony Shop at Boettcher Concert Hall, continued to be the CSG’s major money-raiser.
2009-10 Celebrating its 75th year of support for the Denver/Colorado Symphony Orchestra, the Guild sponsored a series of Diamond Jubilee events. Featured were a “Lunch and Laughter,” opera spoof by the Opera Colorado Madrigals at Pinehurst Country Club; a “Looking Back” luncheon highlighting seven decades of “Memories” at the Denver Country Club (where the Guild was founded in 1935); a gala Birthday Party at the Lakewood Country Club with  multiple guest  musicians, prizes and sold-out silent auction, and a Bridge to Spring cards-and-fashions highlight at Green Gables Country Club. These occasions, plus Unit fundraisers and the second-highest annual net proceeds in The Symphony Shop’s 26-year history ($24,000), enabled the CSG to give the CSO a $65,000  gift in this milestone year — including $5,000 in Golden Circle funds to purchase music.
2010-11 Continuing to focus on a closer relationship with orchestra players and a broader outreach to members and the general public, CSG reached two major goals with the introduction of coffee/pastry breaks for the musicians on Open Rehearsal days and the debut of its www.coloradosymphonyguild.org website. Increased for the first time since 1986, dues were raised to $35 for regular members and $60 for sustaining members. The student members was eliminated, but a new $100 Patron category was created. At year-end, more than $50,000 had been given to the Colorado Symphony, including $25,500 in fundraising-event proceeds, $20,000 in Symphony Shop profits and $4,756 in Golden Circle donations for the purchase of music scores.
2011-12 Mentoring, Visibility and Expansion were this year’s themes; and early, active involvement of new members was emphasized. During this busy year, the Board often felt like The White Queen in Through the Looking Glass who imagined “six impossible things before breakfast”. For the first time in 13 years, we welcomed a new Unit, Denver-East. The Guild web site, implemented a year ago was expanded to accept payments, donations and renewals online. The financial records of the Symphony Shop and Guild Treasury were consolidated to present a more accurate picture of the Guild’s financial condition. Symphony Guild Music Seminars were inaugurated, with Resident Conductor Scott O’Neil as faculty for the first seminar. An Orientation Program for new members was introduced. A new Guild Standing Committee on Technology Applications brought notable upgrades to Guild administration. Innovative Guild-wide and unit fundraisers, as well as sales at the Symphony Guild Shop, enabled the Guild to donate $50,000 to the Symphony. In June, an additional donation in of $10,000 to purchase music was matched 100% by the Kenneth King and Gates Family Foundations. Guild members donated nearly 12,000 hours in fundraising efforts and assistance to the CSA.
2012-13 This year our newest unit, Denver East, got off to a great start with hosting a wine tasting event. The Guild website continues providing us with up to date information regarding events as well as accepting payments, donations and renewals online. The Symphony Guild Shop had more than 50% increase in income. Symphony Guild Music Seminars were successful once again with Resident Conductor Scott O’Neil as faculty for the first seminar. Scott was our honoree at the Holiday Benefit. An Orientation Program for new members was again held. Gift card reloads brought in nearly $5,000. Guild-wide fundraisers included Fall, Fun & Fashion, a Holiday Benefit at the Governor’s residence, and Dazzle 2 Jazz. These and unit fundraisers, as well as sales at the Symphony Guild Shop, enabled the Guild to donate $70,000 to the Symphony. Guild members donated nearly 15,000 hours in fundraising efforts and assistance to the CSA, an increase of more than 3,000 hours over last year. Bach’s lunch continued to promote camaraderie between Guild members and musicians. After many hours of review and revising, the bylaws committee delivered new Bylaws and Standing Rules, which were adopted.
2013-14 Guild-wide fundraising events included Art Music and Medicine in the Fulginiti Pavilion at Anschutz Medical Campus, and Fall Fun and Fashions at Pinehurst Country Club. These and unit fundraisers, as well as sales at the Symphony Guild Shop, enabled the Guild to donate $51,200 to the Symphony. Gross sales for The Symphony Guild Shop were nearly $70,000. Gift card reloads brought in nearly $6,400. Yumi was our honoree at February’s Love Your Symphony. Bach’s lunch continued to promote camaraderie between Guild members and musicians. We hosted three music seminars covering topics of Ragtime and Jazz history, the Life and Music of Hildegard von Bingen, and a tour of KVOD with Charley Samson. Two Orientation Programs for new members were held and one had a backstage tour of Boettcher. Guild members donated over 15,000 hours in fundraising efforts and assistance to the CSA, including volunteering at the Symphony’s 5K Walk/Run and the Symphony Ball.
2014-15 We had some lovely events in the past year: Fall, Fun and Fashion, the Holiday Event at the Governor’s Mansion, and the chapter fundraisers – all were successful. The Membership Committee created a beautiful new Membership Brochure in full color with a new logo. We had a record-breaking sales year in our Symphony Guild Shop. We have a new chapter, Highlands Ranch/Lone Tree, which is active and growing. The Guild should be proud of these accomplishments. We had three wonderful music seminars that were informative and entertaining. Finally, sadly, this was the final year for the Windsor Gardens chapter due to declining membership.