On Friday, June 17th, 250 guests gathered to celebrate Maestro Tsung Yeh, one of the most influential leaders in South Bend and the fearless conductor of the South Bend Symphony Orchestra. After 28 years, Maestro Yeh is retiring as Music Director of the SBSO. Yeh and his wife, Sau Lan, were the honorees of this year’s Gift of Music fundraising gala. The evening was the culmination of a month-long celebration of the end of Maestro Yeh’s tenure at the South Bend Symphony.

The celebration began on May 7th with Maestro Yeh’s final performance with the South Bend Symphony. The Morris Performing Arts Center hosted over 1,700 guests whom were eager to share their adoration and appreciation for all Maestro Tsung Yeh has done for the South Bend Symphony and the city of South Bend in his three decades as Music Director.

The Maestro was honored with an extended standing ovation after the powerful final performance of the 2015-16 Season, as well as many esteemed awards and thoughtful gifts from the Symphony and the community, including: a key to the city, a proclamation from Mayor Pete Buttigeig that May 7th is officially “Tsung Yeh Day”, a lovely sculpture from the musicians of the SBSO, and the honorary title of Conductor Laureate of the South Bend Symphony. In addition to these many honors of achievement, the outgoing Maestro received the well-regarded Sagamore of the Wabash award and a citation from the Indiana Arts Council to celebrate his accomplishments at the June 17th event.

There was also an outpouring of generosity at the record-breaking event. Over $250,000 was raised to benefit the future of the SBSO. Funds raised were allocated to the newly renamed Yeh Guest Artist Fund, which assists the Symphony in bringing high-caliber guest artists to South Bend to perform alongside the SBSO. A portion of the donation pool also went to the Annual Fund, which supports day-to-day expenses of the Symphony. After the close of the event, the Yeh Guest Artist Fund added an incredible $45,000 to its reserve. The generosity of our donors has set the tone for success in the 2016-17 “Season of Discovery.”

The 2016-17 Season opening concert will be held on October 8, 2016 at the Morris Performing Arts Center. Subscriptions for all three South Bend Symphony Series: Jack M. Champaigne Masterworks, KeyBank Pops, and June H. Edwards Chamber, are all on sale through the South Bend Symphony Office.

Details for the SBSO’s 2016-17 “Season of Discovery” can be found at www.southbendsymphony.org.