Contact:  Colleen Mahoney, (574) 232-6343

South Bend Symphony Orchestra is awarded the Leighton Award for Non-profit Excellence and opens the 2019-20 Season with electrifying orchestral works!

SOUTH BEND, In. (September 12, 2019) – The Community Foundation of St. Joseph County has named the South Bend Symphony Orchestra the recipient of its 2019 Leighton Award for Nonprofit Excellence. The award recognizes the SBSO for its strong leadership, artistic quality, and commitment to broadening its impact on our community.

As the 2019 Leighton Award winner, the SBSO receives a $150,000 endowment challenge grant and must raise $150,000 in matching funds. The resulting $300,000 will be added to the SBSO’s endowed fund with the Community Foundation, providing additional annual resources to support the organization’s mission and purposes. The organization also receives an additional $25,000 to help cover the costs of any fundraising and communications associated with the match. Established by Judd and Mary Lou Leighton and the Leighton-Oare Foundation in 1999, the Leighton Award encourages all of the community’s nonprofit organizations to pursue excellence at every level of their operations. The SBSO would like to thank The Community Foundation of St. Joseph County for the honor and is looking forward to engaging more of our community in the 2019-20 Season.

On Saturday, September 21st at 7:30 p.m. at the Morris Performing Arts Center, the SBSO will open its exciting 2019-20 Season with a dazzling program full of emotionally charged works.

Maestro Alastair Willis begins his third Season as Music Director of the SBSO as he brings a myriad of interesting programs to the stage opening with the new season with a bang with Richard Strauss’ virtuosic tone poem Don Juan which depicts the legend of a rich libertine who devotes his life to the seduction of women.  Following the bombastic tale of Don Juan, will be a contemporary work by Grammy-nominated composer Anna Clyne. Clyne’s This Midnight Hour, commissioned by the Seattle Symphony and l’Orchestre national d’Île de France, is a single movement intimation of a nocturnal scene complete with wild movement, emotional abandon and dream-like sequences. The final work of the concert kicks off the second year of the SBSO’s three-year Beethoven Cycle – Symphony No. 3, “Eroica” which finishes the program in a flourish of heroic intensity and valor.

Maestro will also host a Prelude Conversation one hour prior to the performance on Saturday night at 6:30pm at the Morris Performing Arts Center.

This concert is made possible by the generosity of Series Title Sponsor Jack M. Champaigne, Concert Sponsor Electronics, Inc with special thanks to The Stanley A. & Flora P. Clark Community Trust Foundation and Barnes & Thornburg, LLP.

Tickets start at $19, $10 for children and students with a valid I.D. and are on sale at the Morris Performing Arts Center, by phone at (574235-9190 or online at  The Morris Box Office is open Tuesday – Friday, 11 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Details for the SBSO’s full 2019-20 Season can be found at