What's Happening at the Symphony

Highlighting Our Donors - PENNY AND LOU ROSSO

The ongoing success of THE FUTURE IS HEAR campaign is thrilling to all of us at the San Diego Symphony. To date we have raised $111M toward our $125M goal. We are grateful for the generosity of all who have given at every level. It is a joy to be able to share stories from some of the campaign donors and learn about why they have decided to support this important initiative.

It is particularly meaningful for the Symphony to have donors who recognize the importance music has played in their lives and, in return, want to provide that opportunity for others. For Penny and Lou Rosso, contributing to THE FUTURE IS HEAR campaign means giving back to the community. We are thankful for Penny and Lou’s gift and are honored to recognize “The Rosso Family” on our Main Park Entrance at The Rady Shell at Jacobs Park.

Lou and Penny Rosso sat down with us recently to share why they are giving to this civic project and what The Rady Shell at Jacobs Park means to them.

Arthur Fiedler, if you’re listening, Lou and Penny Rosso want to say, “Thanks!” 62 years ago, the couple, who both grew up in San Francisco, met in college, dated, then broke up, and THEN “re-met” by chance at a concert led by the famed pops conductor. “I called her afterwards and said, ‘let’s try it again,’” explained Lou, and with that the romance rekindled; the Rosso’s have been coming to concerts together ever since.

Their gift of $1M to the construction of The Rady Shell at Jacobs Park represents both their lifelong love of music and the civic pride they feel for San Diego, the city they love and have called home since 2012. “We wanted to do something the public could enjoy – that’s the theme that has guided all of our philanthropy,” said Lou, who spent much of his career in the biotech world and now serves as the chair emeritus of the Beckman Coulter corporation.

“The whole city deserves this glorious venue that Martha Gilmer has pushed forward through sheer determination,” exclaims Penny. “It’s going to be an icon for San Diego that we will all feel proud of, and it just makes us feel good that we could help make it happen.”

There is also sentimental aspect to the couple’s gift that acknowledges the role music has played in their lives and will continue to play as they make plans to bring their three married children and six grandchildren to concerts this summer. “We’ve got tables and we told our grandkids they could choose…” said Penny, “…so we’ll be going to The Goonies and Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, it will be great to be together.”

And there is also a deep note of gratitude: “We never thought when we started out that we would ever be in a position to help in this way,” said Lou. “We are grateful to be contributing to something that will be enjoyed by everyone.”

THE FUTURE IS HEAR is a $125 million campaign supporting the San Diego Symphony and its wide range of artistic and community programing. With a mission to change lives through music and a steadfast belief that music belongs to all of us, the Symphony is committed to continually engaging, supporting and learning from its diverse community. Gifts at every level make an impact, and we are more that 88% of the way to a goal which will enable us to further enhance our programs and facilities for the enjoyment and benefit of all. To make your mark, e-mail campaign@sandiegosymphony.org or follow this link to learn more about the campaign, about the various giving opportunities, and about how you can help tell the world that THE FUTURE IS HEAR at the San Diego Symphony!

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