The Palm Beach Symphony has released its 2019/20 Impact
Report offering insight into how one of South Florida’s legendary arts institutions became a cultural
innovator once again during the pandemic as it continued its mission of engaging, educating and entertaining
the greater community of the Palm Beaches and beyond.
“The theme of our recently concluded 46th Season was ‘Dare to Dream’ yet none of us could have imagined a
season in which schools and concert halls would close,” said Palm Beach Symphony CEO David McClymont.
“Through the unwavering commitment of our supporters and patrons and the total dedication of our board,
staff, musicians and volunteers, we were able to find new ways to connect with the community and make a
difference. This report documents their tremendous contributions.”
The season began with record-breaking attendance at concerts and events contributing to a 100% increase
in revenue over the past five years. In his first season as Music Director, Emmy® Award-winner Gerard
Schwarz created a highly anticipated season that increased subscriptions by 52%. Tickets to social events
were equally coveted with the 2020 annual black-tie gala raising nearly one million dollars and the annual
Holly Jolly Symphony Fête raising nearly 150% more than the previous year.
Understanding the Symphony’s importance to Palm Beach County, 70% of ticket holders donated the value
of the tickets back to the Symphony for concerts cancelled due to the pandemic and then followed it online,
boosting the Symphony’s YouTube viewership by 127%.
Recognized by the Cultural Council for Palm Beach County with the 2020 Muse Award for Outstanding
Community Engagement early in the season, the Symphony continued to earn the honor with innovative
programming. The Symphony reached more than 8,000 students through performances, coaching and
workshops, including a 42% increase in hours of music instruction. A percussion workshop to all secondary
school music teachers was presented for the School District of Palm Beach County followed by the
Symphony commissioning musicians to create 48 instructional online videos for students (featuring 12
instruments) when in-school instruction was no longer possible.
The Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties enabled the Symphony to offer “Nurturing
Notes” programs with Creative Arts Therapies of the Palm Beaches for children at Quantum House and Palm
Beach Children's Hospital at St. Mary's in West Palm Beach. As social distancing created a new hurdle, a
series of fun, interactive video sessions were created.
Vibrant community collaboration began on stage with Palm Beach Atlantic University Oratorio Chorus, The
Choral Society of the Palm Beaches and The Masterworks Chorus of the Palm Beaches and in the classroom
with teaching artists from Demitrius Klein Dance Company and the South Florida Science Center and
Aquarium. Encouraging hope during the pandemic, the Symphony, Palm Beach Opera, Ballet Palm Beach and
The Maltz Jupiter Theatre created a viral YouTube performance of Barry Manilow’s “One Voice,” which so
moved the composer that he shared the video with his 4.4 million Facebook followers.
“Palm Beach Symphony began with a part-time conductor as a grass roots organization and, as that implies,
our roots have taken hold in the community over decades,” McClymont said. “We look forward to helping the
community and those we serve continue to grow and flourish in the months and years ahead.”
The Palm Beach Symphony 2019/20 Impact Report may be viewed at:
ABOUT PALM BEACH SYMPHONY
Palm Beach Symphony is South Florida’s premier orchestra known for its diverse repertoire and
commitment to community. Founded in 1974, this 501(c)(3) nonprofit arts organization adheres to a mission
of engaging, educating, and entertaining the greater community of the Palm Beaches through live
performances of inspiring orchestral music. The orchestra is celebrated for delivering spirited performances
by first-rate musicians and distinguished guest artists. Recognized by The Cultural Council for Palm Beach
County with a 2020 Muse Award for Outstanding Community Engagement, Palm Beach Symphony
continues to expand its education and community outreach programs with children’s concerts, student
coaching sessions and master classes, instrument donations and free public concerts. For more information,