Boise Philharmonic kicks off 60th season

Kim Burgess//September 14, 2019

Boise Philharmonic kicks off 60th season

Kim Burgess//September 14, 2019

The Boise Philharmonic kicked off its 60th anniversary season Thursday night with a salon at the Boise Train Depot.

Dozens of people filled the historic station to help the symphony celebrate, and they were treated to a toast of sparkling wine and solo performances by resident musicians.

solo trumpeter performs at 60th anniversary celebration
Drew Ziemba, associate principal trumpet, performs “Arrays of Light” for solo trumpet by contemporary composer Betsy Schramm.

“It feels amazing,” said Executive Director Hollis Welsh of leading the philharmonic into its 60th year. She added that the symphony was “on top of its game” in regard to musical quality, the musicians it had hired both locally and from out of the area and its new brand and community outreach efforts.

The Philharmonic as a business

The symphony’s budget for the 2019-2021 season  is about $2.1 million.

This year, the symphony will continue its efforts to bring its music to populations who have not previously had access, whether they’re too far away, unable to pay for full-price tickets or otherwise unavailable to attend live concerts.

Idaho Gov's proclamation celebrating the Boise Phil's 60 year anniversary
Idaho Gov. Brad Little has proclaimed Sept. 20 and 21 of 2019 as the Boise Phil’s 60th Anniversary Opening Celebration.

These efforts include sending a livestream link to teachers in elementary schools around the state, offering excess tickets to local nonprofits and streaming on Boise State Public Radio. These programs are known as In Roads and Phil the Hall, respectively.

The outreach follows musicians’ recent vote to join a union, as reported by the Idaho Statesman.

Community support

Beth Shell and her husband attended the salon. They have been symphony supporters for at least 10 years and, like the symphony, are this year celebrating their own 60th wedding anniversary.

“I really like what they’re doing,” she said while waiting for the performance. “I like the Star Wars, especially, that they did last year.”

The symphony will hold multiple salons, Uncorked events, a classical series and a pop series.