CSU, Chico News

Redding Philanthropists and Music Lovers Make $1 Million Bequest to North State Symphony

Date: 01-29-2015

Joe Wills
Public Affairs

The North State Symphony has received the largest gift in its history – a $1 million bequest from Robert and Anne Morgan of Redding.

The Morgans’ generous gift will establish the Robert and Anne Morgan North State Symphony Endowment, which will support the general operation of the symphony.

The North State Symphony, created in 2001 from the merger of the Chico and Redding Symphonies, functions as a program within the College of Humanities and Fine Arts at California State University, Chico.

Robert and Anne Morgan moved to Redding in 1971 and were owners of Crown Motors in Redding. Among their many interests were music and the arts, which included the North State Symphony. Robert passed away in 2009, followed by Anne in 2014. Their estate plans for charitable giving included support for the symphonic music they enjoyed so much during their lives.

“This extraordinary gift is going to enhance our symphony in many, many ways,” said North State Symphony Executive Director Keith Herritt. “Thanks to the philanthropic vision of Robert and Anne Morgan, we will continue to bring outstanding guest artists and fine orchestral music to the North State.”

“We are very grateful for this generous gift,” said Eugene Nichols, chair of the North State Symphony Board of Directors. “We are so appreciative of them thinking of us, singling us out – this is really going to help.”

“The North State Symphony is one of the jewels of our region,” said Robert Knight, dean of the College of Humanities and Fine Arts. “At a time when many orchestras are struggling to survive, our symphony continues to provide wonderful classical music and terrific live performances to North State residents. Thanks to the Morgans and many other generous, hardworking supporters, we have this great symphony to enjoy year after year.”

The North State Symphony performs concerts in the Cascade Theatre in Redding and Laxson Auditorium on the CSU, Chico campus. The musicians of the orchestra include professionals from a wide geographic area and community members as well as students and faculty members of CSU, Chico.

The University provides extensive administrative and production support to the symphony, but financial support also comes from the community, including those who serve on the advisory Board of Directors or the Board of Regents and other music lovers.

The origins of the North State Symphony can be traced back to 1905, when the first orchestra formed at what was then the Chico State Normal School. Thus, 2005 was celebrated as the 100th anniversary of symphonic music in the North State area.