Fundraising Goals and Gift Categories

Fundraising Goals

Biennial international tour $2,000,000
Six admission free annual concerts in Woolsey Hall  $2,000,000
One new commission per year from an American composer, and an annual recording of American Music $500,000
Eight annual masterclasses from leading professional musicians $500,000

Total endowment campaign target

$5 million


In recent years, Yale has made a visionary commitment to increase socioeconomic diversity in the undergraduate student population. President Salovey has set accessibility as one if the university’s top priorities, “to offer a Yale education to an even more diverse student body from throughout the world without regard to financial circumstances.”

This fall’s virtual audition process brought us our most diverse orchestra yet while maintaining our traditional excellence of musicianship. Many of today’s exceptionally talented musicians do not own an instrument and in the past few years we have spent over $60,000 purchasing high quality instruments so that incoming musicians could participate in the orchestra.  The YSO is working to remove barriers to access as our student body has grown and evolved, and we need your help with this mission.


The orchestra regularly embarks on domestic and international tours. These tours serve as outreach for the ensembles and for Yale, and provide the students with formative experiences, travelling and learning with their peers and seeing first-hand the impact of music in the world. Even touring economically, these tours are expensive, and the needs of our increasingly diverse student body have been growing each year. In the past, touring participation has required a financial commitment from musicians but this is becoming a barrier for more and more of our orchestra. We seek to raise enough funds to make touring participation possible for every YSO student. These are transformational experiences that are an essential part of YSO membership, and they should be accessible to all members.


The YSO charges admission to their on-campus concerts, in order to cover the costs of producing their regular season. This charge is a barrier for many students and for the New Haven community attending these concerts. Therefore an endowed fund to replace the income generated by these ticket sales would have a multiplied impact, enabling the gift of exceptional orchestral music to the Yale and New Haven communities, without any price barrier. We seek your help to allow the YSO to return to the free admission model with which we began.


American heritage and contemporary music are a mainstay of the YSO’s repertoire. To support this mission the YSO are developing the following two annual projects that will allow the members of the YSO to understand their past and engage with the wider American community of living composers:

  1. Commissioning a new work each season from an American composer
  2. Annual recording of American music featured during the season.

These two projects support and foster American talent and engage the YSO musicians in the creative process of rehearsing and performing World Premieres followed by the discipline of recording sessions.

As a supporter of the orchestra you are aware of the importance of the YSO experience to the life of an undergraduate musician. You know the friendship, support, and encouragement among the students, the individual development of each member, and the wonderful musical journey that it takes students on during their years at Yale College. The weekly rehearsals, social events, the Halloween show, touring, and concerts shared with our community develop memories for life. I am grateful to previous YSO Directors for their dedication and leadership and am honored to lead the orchestra forward, ensuring access to this experience for all of Yale’s finest musicians.

Gift Categories

All donors will be recognized on the YSO website and in concert programs. Named gifts will be recognized on all material associated with the particular activity.

Gifts under $2,500 would be most welcome in the YSO Annual Fund, and will help maintain operations while we fundraise endowed funds. The Annual Fund supports the annual YSO teambuilding retreat and a concert trip to NYC.
Make a Donation to the Annual Fund

Gifts of $2,500 or more can be put into a general endowment to support the YSO. These endowed funds will support YSO international touring, 6 free New Haven concerts, annual recording, and commissioning.

Individual named endowments begin at $100,000.

Did your class year have a strong presence in the YSO? Class gifts to support the YSO are most welcome!

Pledges on all gifts can be made over five years. All gifts to the YSO receive personal and class reunion credit as well as recognition within respective Yale donor recognition groups.

For more information, please contact William Boughton, Director of the Yale Symphony Orchestra at