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DSSO dinner has $4,000 'door prize'

DSSO dinner has $4,000 'door prize' Kyle Eller Budgeteer News As if the innovative season theme and a subscriber base that defied national trends and grew last year weren't enough momentum for the Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra this year, thr...

DSSO dinner has $4,000 'door prize'

Kyle Eller

Budgeteer News

As if the innovative season theme and a subscriber base that defied national trends and grew last year weren't enough momentum for the Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra this year, throw in this incentive for a pre-concert Gala Dinner: a Rolex watch worth nearly $4,000 as door prize.

Stuart, Jack and Jay Seiler of Security Jewelers, a long-time supporter of the Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra (DSSO), donated the watch, which one symphony patron will win at a dinner preceding the opening of the DSSO's season opening concert focusing on the theme of "Envy & Kindness."

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"It's always been very nice," said DSSO Board Member Heidi Dulebohn, describing the numerous pre-season dinners she's been involved with. "But it's at a whole new level this year."

The dinner will be held at the DECC's Gooseberry Falls Room from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. just before the Sept. 27 concert, and those attending are automatically registered to win the watch. The event is open to the public, but seating is limited to 150, and the cost is $52 per person. Those planning to attend must RSVP by Sept. 23.

Symphony officials say it serves as a thank-you for long-time supporters and an introduction for new people. Public relations director Ann Robertson said some have already called saying they've not been symphony patrons but want in on the excitement.

Security Jewelers Store President Jack Seiler said the DSSO and the watch go together nicely. "Rolex pretty much stands for excellence," he said.

"The symphony appeals to the type of people we like to appeal to, also," he added.

The DSSO is taking an ambitious artistic track this season, basing its entire season of classical concerts, the Masterworks series, on a single theme, "The 7 Deadly Sins in 7 Lively Concerts." Each concert in the series will focus, in one form or another, on the seven traditional Christian deadly sins and their corresponding virtues.

The strategy has allowed the organization to partner with other groups, starting with Lake Superior Writers, which based its annual contest on the theme and gave winners an opportunity to be published in the symphony program.

The DSSO is also partnering with some nonprofit charities, tying in with the themes.

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"It allows us to partner with organizations we normally wouldn't," says Andrew Berryhill, the DSSO's executive director, who is starting his second season with the group. He and musical director Markand Thakar hatched the idea, which is continuing the momentum generated last year.

"Last year, we had more people at our concerts than we've seen in a long time," Berryhill said.

This year promises more of the same. "The phone keeps ringing," he said, noting season ticket sales have surpassed last year and people are already snapping up individual seats. "... We will have more people in the hall."

And some of the gains are already being consolidated. Seiler says this big donation is probably not a one-time thing.

"I would hope to do it again in the future, by all means," he said.

To make reservations for the dinner and a chance at a fancy timepiece, call 733-7575 or send e-mail to tickets@dsso.com .

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