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O.C. TANNER CO. GIVES $1 MILLION TO UTAH SYMPHONY

The Utah Symphony has announced the receipt of $1 million from the O.C. Tanner Co. - one of the largest private gifts in the orchestra's history.

Symphony board chairman Ken Knight said approximately two-thirds of the money will be used to help the orchestra qualify for a matching grant of $368,050 from the Utah Arts Council. Knight said $1 million of the combined donation will then be put in the donor-restricted portion of the orchestra's endowment fund, where it will be a source of dividend and interest income.That will bring the total current donor-restricted portion of the endowment fund to $7.2 million.

The remainder of the money, Knight said, will be used "at the discretion of the executive committee and the board."

The announcement of the gift followed a meeting ofthe board of directors Monday at Symphony Hall. In addition, the State Legislature last week approved $600,000 for the Utah Symphony, Ballet West and Utah Opera for their public-education programs. Last year the Legislature approved $700,000 for the programs.

Knight said that money is "reimbursement" for the orchestra's 63 school concerts a year as well as 10 fifth-grade outreach programs in Symphony Hall.

Knight acknowledged the Tanner gift was received earlier but said the news was delayed "because this was the first board meeting where we had the opportunity to announce it."

Both Obert Tanner and his wife, Grace, are longtime supporters of the arts in Utah. In recent years they have sponsored Utah Symphony concerts, contributed to the musicians lounge that bears their name and played a significant role in funding the construction of Symphony Hall.

Symphony officials said both the Tanner money and the arts council grant will help offset an accumulated deficit of $2.4 million. Currently the orchestra's annual budget is around $7 million.

In other business Monday, officials announced that last weekend's Rodgers and Hammerstein concerts grossed more than $102,000 for the orchestra, the largest ticket sale in its history.

It was also announced that music director Joseph Silverstein's 60th birthday on March 22 will be celebrated at a backstage party following the March 21 concert.