SOUTHWEST FLORIDA SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA AND CHORUS ASSOC., INC.

World-Class Music in Paradise

aka Southwest Florida Symphony   |   Fort Myers, FL   |  www.swflso.org

Mission

The mission of the Southwest Florida Symphony Orchestra is to present outstanding music for the entertainment, enrichment and education of the broadest possible public.

Ruling year info

1966

Executive Director

Amy Ginsburg

Main address

7500 College Parkway Suite 200

Fort Myers, FL 33907 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

59-1350404

NTEE code info

Symphony Orchestras (A69)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Sign in or create an account to view Form(s) 990 for 2020, 2019 and 2018.
Register now

Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

The Southwest Florida Symphony is the arts and cultural cornerstone of Lee County, Florida. It is this community's only source of fully professional symphonic music performance and education outreach provided by professionally trained musicians. Without the Southwest Florida Symphony, Lee County may never have access to this caliber of symphonic music.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Classical Masterworks Series

Each season the Orchestra offers a series of Classical Masterworks concerts. Performances are usually at the Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall in Fort Myers. For program dates and details, visit the Symphony's website at www.swflso.org(http://www.swflso.org)

Population(s) Served
Adults

The Orchestra offers a series of Pops Concerts at the Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall in Fort Myers and at Charlotte Performing Arts Center in Punta Gorda, featuring more contemporary music that is paired with symphonic arrangements. This series also features "fusion" concerts where arrangers blend classical repertoire with more contemporary, popular music. Its annual Holiday Pops Concert is also performed at multiple venues in surrounding communities.

Population(s) Served
Adults

The Southwest Florida Symphony offers chamber ensemble programs each season at various venues throughout Lee, Charlotte and Collier Counties. Ensembles are comprised of no more than an octet and are performed at venues that accommodate smaller audiences that are seated much closer to the ensemble for an intimate and interactive experience with the musicians.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Youth Symphony

Open to strings, wind, brass and percussion students, by audition, the group rehearses weekly at Cypress Lake Center for the Performing Arts and performs three concerts each year. Students receive coaching from the professional musicians of SWFLSO. The Youth Symphony is conducted by Nathan Fish.

Sinfonietta

The Sinfonietta is an orchestra for less experienced string players. The group is open to beginning string players through auditions that are held twice each school year. It rehearses weekly and holds three public performances each year at Cypress Lake Center for the Performing Arts. The Sinfonietta is conducted by Katrina Rozmus.
 
Majors for Minors

A "reverse field trip" for Lee County elementary school students.

In school performances and speaking engagements provided by our education staff is provided to schools, pending funding. The program is tied to the music curriculum and introduces fifth-graders to musical instruments, musical periods, composers, and elements of dance music.

Young People's Concert

Cool classical concerts for kids, educational outreach performances.

A live professional orchestra performance is presented at Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall each Spring for all Lee County 5th grade students.

Sound Lab

A traveling interactive instruments-of-the-orchestra display, providing a hands-on learning experience.

 

Discovery Club

Available to students K-12, students pay a one-time membership fee of $15. They receive a T-shirt, a membership card and an invitation to a special event (usually an open rehearsal.) Throughout their academic career, they can purchase three discounted tickets ($5) for themselves and family members for balcony seating to any concert.

Disadvantaged / At Risk Youth

Free tickets to selected concerts are made available to various agencies. The agency completes the request form and tickets are mailed to them for distribution.

Student Rush Tickets

For college students, students show their ID one hour before the concert and can purchase two tickets for $5 each.

 

Jillian Prescott Music Awards

Annual competition for cash awards and opportunity to perform with SWFLSO, open to keyboard, winds, strings and vocalists, age 12-22 and legal residents of Lee, Charlotte, Collier, Glades or Hendry counties in Florida.

 

Van Sickle Scholarship Competition

Held every other year, this is a scholarship competition for college voice students.

Pre-Concert Lectures

An hour prior to each Masterworks Concert, the Maestro enlightens concertgoers on the evening's program.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Families

Where we work

Affiliations & memberships

League of American Orchestras 2011

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Total number of paid seats filled for performances

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Through survey data we collected, we were able to more appropriately program to serve our community, which helped revive ticket sales. We also added a fusion concert, which sold incredibly well.

Total number of free seats filled for performances

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults, Economically disadvantaged people, Students

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of clients participating in educational programs

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth, Students

Related Program

Educational Programs

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Total number of performances

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

5 Masterworks, 4 Pops, 9 Small Stage Symphonies, 3 Holiday Pops, 1 Young People's Concert, 1 City of Ft. Myers Tree Lighting Ceremony, 1 Memorial Day performance, 1 Mashup, 2 Shell Point only.

Number of volunteers

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

The Southwest Florida Symphony is Lee County's only professional orchestra and one of the oldest in the state of Florida. The Symphony and its family of affiliates are committed to sharing a passion for music with the the broadest possible public through continuous improvement of artistic quality, programmatic breadth and cultural relevance of concerts and presentations.

We connect in a meaningful way with the community and its constituents through artistic activities, special events, collaborations and performances.

In addition to broadening and strengthening attendance at our Masterworks, Pops and Small Stage Symphonies Series, our goal is to narrow the arts education gap in Lee County Schools by implementing strategic school- and community-based programming.

Capitalizing on the significant gains from the arrival of the Symphony's new music director in the 2014-2015 season --internationally acclaimed Maestro Nir Kabaretti -- the Southwest Florida Symphony will continue working to develop the finest possible artistic product within our resources by attracting and retaining the services of world-class guest artists, guest conductors for our Pops Series and attracting new members of the orchestra.

In terms of broadening community reach, the Symphony continues to expand the number of venues in which it performs each season, including expansion to the Bonita Springs community and Collier County. From a calendar perspective and when funding permits, the Symphony adds a "Summer Staycation" series during the shoulder/summer season -- to provide service opportunities for the symphony's musicians and expanded programming for our year-round residents.

The Symphony has a robust marketing plan for attracting new and renewing subscribers and single ticket buyers. This includes an aggressive media (and social media) campaign as well as a retooling of customary direct-mail and electronic-mail campaigns.

As all Symphony programs and events are developed to enhance the overall quality of life, learning and well-being in our community, the Symphony continues to expand its school- and community-based partnerships, performances and programming.

To fill the tremendous void with respect to music education in our schools, the Symphony offers expansive youth programming: Majors for Minors Program(Lee County elementary schools); Young People's Concerts (all Lee County 5th graders are invited); the Discovery Club (offering student discounts for concerts, backstage tours and special youth programming); Music for Life (offering concert tickets for disadvantaged youth, in partnership with 18 community organizations); and the highly-acclaimed Youth Orchestra Program, featuring a Sinfonietta, Concert Orchestra and Youth Symphony.

To deepen children's interest in symphonic music and entice adults to attend concerts with their families, the Symphony hosts The Instrument Sound Lab -- a hands-on experience with orchestral instruments -- at family-friendly events each year. In terms of adult learning, the Symphony hosts well-attended pre-concert lectures prior to each Masterworks concert as well as highly detailed program notes, providing concertgoers with a comprehensive education on the evening's program.

The Symphony remains nimble and flexible to adjust its programming to address community interests and needs.

The Southwest Florida Symphony is one of the largest performing arts organization in Lee County by budget size. We have developed multiple cooperative partnerships in the private sector and with arts and community organizations.

The Symphony has experienced a significant increase in attendance as a direct result of its aggressive marketing campaign which began in the 2013-14 season. Most notably, audiences for classical programming grew by almost 21% and 1/3 of single ticket buyers were new to the Symphony. The Symphony's donor base has grown steadily alongside the growing audience base. The growing media presence has inspired new enthusiasm for symphonic music in our community. In the most recent season, attendance at a particularly popular Pops concert broke longstanding sales records.

The Southwest Florida Symphony is in stronger fiscal condition than it has been in many years, which provides the momentum needed to sustain and grow existing programs and to cultivate and launch new ones. The Symphony continues to experience a groundswell of support from the community, providing confidence that the organization's financial health will continue.

The Board of Trustees of the Southwest Florida Symphony continues to provide strategic direction and financial support for the institution -- crafting a vision for the future and addressing the needs of the organization on an ongoing basis.

The Southwest Florida Symphony has undergone significant change in recent years, including the appointment of a new music director and executive director.

Emerging from several challenging years during and following the economic downturn -- particularly prevalent in southwest Florida -- the Symphony is in a period of rebuilding and re-branding. Expanded and targeted marketing efforts have helped to increase ticket sales and to introduce symphonic music to new audiences. Now branded "World Class Music in Paradise," a revised logo and new website are visible evidence of positive change.

The Board of Trustees continues to strategically recruit community leaders to its ranks and to achieve 100% participation in support for the organization. The board has recently updated its by-laws, with enhanced focus on governance and fundraising.

The Symphony is working to expand its reach in the community by adding additional performance venues and dates, and by experimenting with diverse programming in an effort to engage the next generation of new audiences.

While the Symphony's Education and Outreach programming is strong, there is significant opportunity and need for expansion in this area.

The Symphony seeks to develop new sources of contributed income and funding streams to support its core programming and to address priority needs for future growth. In addition, it seeks to increase funding to its endowment, further securing the Symphony's capability of serving the community for many years to come.

Financials

SOUTHWEST FLORIDA SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA AND CHORUS ASSOC., INC.
lock

Unlock financial insights by subscribing to our monthly plan.

Subscribe

Unlock nonprofit financial insights that will help you make more informed decisions. Try our monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights?
Learn more about GuideStar Pro.

Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

SOUTHWEST FLORIDA SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA AND CHORUS ASSOC., INC.

Board of directors
as of 06/29/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

J. Thomas Uhler

Uhler & Vertich Financial Planners

Term: 2017 - 2023

Robert Diefenbach

Retitred - Partner, John W. Bristol & Co.

J. Thomas Uhler

Uhler & Vertich Financial Planners

Joseph Broughton

Burgess Brant

Jeff Cull

Florida Weekly

Carol Edmier

Pam Simon

Jovana Batkovic

Restaurant owner - Nice Guys Pizza

Alexandra Bremner

Retired early childhood educator

Joseph Broughton

Partner, Burgess Brant Consulting Engineers

Ellie Fox

Retired real estate broker

Anne Kimball

Retired clergy

Liz Marnul

Retired sales director, Fairmount Hotels

Jack Martin

Real estate broker

Gary Niethamer

Retired interior design entrepeneur

Reina Schlager

Retired CPA

Anne Wardlwo

Retired general counsel

John Wright

CFO, Sanibel Captiva Community Bank

Jan Hladik

Retired corporate nurse

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 6/29/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

 

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data