CSU, Chico News

Frugal House Nets Large Proceeds for North State Symphony

Date: 07-05-2011

Kathleen McPartland


Keith Herritt

Executive Director,

North State Symphony


Frugal House, North State Symphony’s major fundraiser for the year, held June 10 and 11, netted approximately $34,000 for the symphony. California State University, Chico and Butte College interior design students transformed the house on Vallombrosa Avenue with a Hollywood-themed décor. Attendees at the event were able to purchase the items and furniture in the house, all of which was recycled and re-purposed.

Community members and businesses donated more than 1,000 individual items for sale in the home. The opening event, a preview party, was sold out, and almost every item in the house was sold during the two days Frugal House was open. All of this added up to a fundraising project that exceeded the expectations of the organizers and the symphony.

Bernie and Carole Farmer provided the home for the Frugal House project. Bernie Farmer and his band, the Fabulous Swing Kings, played for the opening night event. In addition to the design students, local professional interior designers and trades professionals helped transform the house.

“Frugal House allows us to introduce the symphony to a new audience,” said Ann Prater, advancement director for the College of Humanities and Fine Arts. “Many live performance venues, including orchestras, are struggling with how to address the issue of shrinking audiences. We believe that Frugal House helps position classical music as fun and culturally significant for our community.”

“On behalf of the conductor and the orchestra, I would like to thank everyone who made the Frugal House a success by being creative and having such a good time shopping!” said Keith Herritt, executive director of the North State Symphony. “What I like about the opening event and the Frugal House experience is that it appeals to such a broad spectrum of people who are able to support the symphony and have a good time while they are doing it.”

The North State Symphony, a program with the College of Humanities and Fine Arts at California State University, Chico, performs concerts in Chico, Redding and other communities. The music director is Kyle Wiley Pickett, and members include professional musicians as well as faculty and students from CSU, Chico. More information on the symphony is available at http://www.northstatesymphony.org/.