The Erie Philharmonic has become a paramount institution in the Erie Community thanks to its many supporters. The Crescendo Society is a group of such individuals who have chosen to establish a legacy by remembering the Erie Philharmonic in their estate plans.

An Annual Report from 1949

We need to continually confront the challenge of excellence and longevity with a strong and secure financial base. 

Through planned giving, the Erie Philharmonic Staff, Music Director and Board of Directors has set a goal to increase the Philharmonic's Endowment Fund to $10 million by the end of the 2019-2020 season.  Estate Gifts of $10,000 or more to the endowment have never been as important.  Learn more about our 2020 Compose the Future campaign here.

Those who provide for the Erie Philharmonic through planned giving at a minimum of $10,000 are recognized as members of the Crescendo Society.  As a thank you, members of this society will be invited to an exclusive lunch with Music Director Daniel Meyer once a year for a behind-the-scenes look into the Philharmonic. 

Endowment Naming Opportunities

Conductor's Circle - $250,000

Exclusive group of donors who wish to permanently endow the Music Director's chair.  This position is currently held by Daniel Meyer.

Concertmaster's Circle - $100,000

Exclusive group of donors who wish to permanently endow the Concertmaster's chair.  This position is currently held by Ken Johnston.

Principal Musician Chair - $50,000

Major donors to the Philharmonic endowment who wish to underwrite the chair of a principal musician.  

Musician Chair - $25,000

Donors to the Philharmonic endowment who wish to recognize the chair of a musician who has had a special influence or impact on their life and enjoyment of fine music.

Sustaining Member - $10,000

Special recognition to donors who help assure through their generous gift that the endowment remains as a stabilizing force and lifeblood for the orchestra.

Crescendo Society

John William Kloss

Raymond Johnson

Wally and Gloria Knox

Marilyn Levinson

John and Linkty Luther

Gregory Moore

Douglas Murphy

Melany Myers

Calvin Neithamer

Carl and Maura Pelinsky

Stephen Pett

Barbara Pollock

Gary Raimy

Al and Peggy Richardson

William and Francis Schuster

Pauline Scott

Laura Shaffer

Norman Stark

Frances Strong

Roger Sturtevant

William and Janice Underhill

Tom and Cheryl Vicary

Leon and Laura Wallerstein

Charles Wheeler

Emma Williams


Hermine Bauschard

Don and Susan Baxter

Mr. & Mrs. Boyd Bert Jr.

Helen Billman

Louise Bliss

Miss Jean Louise Bloom, Ph.D.

Howard Bovee

Charles and Noel Burgoyne

Pete and Isabel Clemens

Andrew Conner

Mrs. Betty Davis

Jean Sturtevant Dunn

Judy Emling

John and Bonnie Enders

Richard Flynn

David Fugate

Fletcher and Elsie Gornall

Alan Greener

Robert and Betsy Guelcher

Thomas Hagen

Mary Harris

Barbara Hauck

Wally Faas and Patty Holstein

Rob Hoff

The Erie Philharmonic in 1913

Types of Planned Gifts

Wills or Living Trusts

A last will and testament reflects an individual’s most beloved people, values, and causes. Bequests to the Erie Philharmonic can designate a dollar amount, a percentage of an estate, or a piece of property. A benefactor may also instruct how a gift should be used. A bequest made through a will or trust is free of estate tax.

Gift Annuities

A charitable gift annuity has rewards the giver or loved ones with dependable fixed income for life, provides a charitable income tax deduction, can potentially reduce estate taxes, and may enable capital gains tax savings. Charitable gifts can be funded with cash or marketable securities, and are designed for people of retirement age or older. Income provided through these gifts is based on age and remains fixed for life.

Remainder Trusts

Remainder trusts are versatile planned gifts that can provide for several loved ones, be customized to the donor’s needs, and can serve as vehicles for giving non-traditional assets such as land or real estate. The trust payout rate is determined at the time the trust is established. Payout percentage remains the same, although income may fluctuate depending on market performance.

Retirement Plans

Qualified retirement accounts such as an IRA, 401(k), Keogh, or SEP can be used to make a legacy gift to the Erie Philharmonic. While these assets are heavily taxed for heirs, 100% can be used to support a charity. Benefactors are frequently counseled to use tax-favorable assets such as cash or securities for family, and consider using qualified retirement plans as planned gifts.

Real Estate

Real estate is an excellent and sometimes overlooked type of planned gift. Property can be given to the Erie Philharmonic outright, deeded as a gift, or sold below market value. Benefactors may give residences or vacation homes while retaining the right to living in them for the remainder of their lives. People giving real estate are entitled to income tax deductions, as well as potential reductions in their taxable estates.

Life Insurance Policies

Gifts of insurance policies can be simply arranged by naming the Erie Philharmonic as beneficiary. This form of planned giving is particularly appropriate when policies have outlived their initial purposes. It also enables benefactors to make significant gifts without negatively affecting cash flow.

For more information, contact Executive Director Steve Weiser at 814.455.1375, ext. 20 or