Iola James, president of the Patrons of the Arts and Humanities, donated $500 to the Oakland East Bay Symphony Youth Orchestra on opening night Friday, Nov. 7.
“Our mission is to support and nurture our youth in the East Bay and over the years we’re proud to have supported the community in various ways,” she said.
According to James, the organization makes a different donation each year. In the past, donations have gone to Claremont and Elmhurst middle schools in Oakland, and one year the group sponsored sopranista Hope Briggs in concert with the youth orchestra.
James, a member of the Berkeley Bay Area Alumni Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, says the chapter annually takes a group to the symphony.
Leslie Fay Marks, development director of the youth orchestra, welcomed the donation and explained that the orchestra is working to change the perception of classical music, making it more interactive and collaborating with the community.
“Community investment from people like Iola James and the Patrons of the Arts is critical to helping the symphony change lives through music,” she said. “The Patrons of the Arts is helping us do that with our Youth Orchestra musicians, which is a wonderful opportunity to get the students excited about classical music for life.”
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