Symphony Receives $1.6M Bequest

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (MAY 28, 2013) – The Winston-Salem Symphony is grateful to announce the receipt of a historic gift to its endowment. Jeanne (“Jan”) N. Hill, a passionate Winston-Salem Symphony patron who died on February 19, 2012 at the age of 52, provided a bequest to the Winston-Salem Symphony of more than $1,600,000.

Hill’s bequest is the single largest gift ever given to the Winston-Salem Symphony in its 66 year history and nearly doubles the size of the Symphony’s endowment. This gift will be used to establish the Jeanne Hill Miss Liberty Fund and will serve to support the Symphony’s mission to create an inspired community through live musical performances. In addition, the Jeanne Hill Miss Liberty Fund will assist the Symphony in a period of growth by providing funding for expanding education programs that will reach thousands of local children in the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools.

“By naming this fund in Jan’s honor, we have the pleasure of giving her much-deserved perpetual recognition,” said Merritt Vale, Chief Executive Officer. “This remarkable gift will help us to sustain and guarantee our service to the community.”

Hill and her mother, “Jeanne Hill, Sr.,” were both well known for playing the role of Miss Liberty at various outdoor and children’s concerts of the Symphony. Generations of children remember Jan Hill, Jr. and Sr. greeting them at concerts in costume with foam-and-rubber torch and a welcoming smile.

“Jan was absolutely committed to introducing children to the joys of music and especially to the thrill of an orchestra experience. Now, thanks to this most generous bequest, children for generations to come will remember Jan and know her by her amazing legacy to this community,” said Vale.

Hill was also the founding sponsor of the Winston-Salem Symphony’s Discovery Concerts for Kids series, which just completed its fifth season

“Jan was a kid at heart, a wonderful warm soul, and she very much loved continuing the legacy and being ‘Miss Liberty’ for the kids. I am so incredibly grateful to her for making this series possible and for giving thousands of children and families the chance to enjoy great music together,” said Robert Moody, Music Director and Conductor of the Winston-Salem Symphony.

Hill is survived by her brother Gil, his wife Carleen and their son Alex (Lexington, NC), her aunt Mary Taylor of Wilmington and several cousins.

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This project was supported by the N.C. Arts Council, a division of the Department of Natural & Cultural Resources.

The Winston-Salem Symphony receives operational funding from The Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County

Educational initiatives made possible with funding by Wells Fargo, The Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County and The Winston-Salem and Forsyth County Schools.