Wenatchee Valley Symphony Orchestra

The importance of business sponsorship?

Wenatchee Valley Symphony Orchestra needs help from business community


By Gary Bégin

Music is a major part of most people’s lives as they go about their day-to-day routines, whether in a car, at home, at work or just lounging on their yachts and dinghies.

In an exclusive interview with the Wenatchee Business Journal, Managing Director of the Wenatchee Valley Symphony Orchestra Ron Bermingham said, “In a very narrowly focused sense, the Wenatchee Valley Symphony Orchestra, like so many other arts organizations in North Central Washington, is in the business of curating and sharing art, music in our case, and more specifically, symphonic music.”

Bermingham explains, “What exactly is the importance of establishing a Business Partnership with the WVSO?  Quick responses might include: 1) I love symphonic music, always have. I love having an orchestra right here in Wenatchee and through my business partnership with the symphony, I help it thrive so that both my family and others can continue to attend the WVSO’s outstanding concerts.

Or 2) Well, symphonic music is not anything that relates directly to my business and frankly, I prefer Bluegrass, have never gone to an orchestral concert and really have no interest in doing so.”

How will sponsorship help? “Business leaders in category 1 don’t need a justification for establishing a Partnership with the WVSO. It’s the business leaders in category 2 that don’t understand the value of partnering with an organization that delivers a product they’re not interested in buying. My pitch is to this group and to let them know that we’re playing on the same team!” said Bermingham.

“In a nutshell, the WVSO does much more than simply produce music for public consumption. In fact, its activities enrich a community much larger than the community of concert attendees, and it does so by its very presence in the community. For the past 74-years the WVSO has been an indicator of Wenatchee’s economic and cultural strength. Its presence helps to fuel the economy (travel, tourism, hospitality, education, entertainment, education, etc.) and by its outreach into each of these sectors of the economy, spreads energy and vitality into the business community far removed from any that is generated in the concert hall itself,” Bermingham said.


“If we believed in the importance of the arts and its value for society as much as Elon Musk believes in the importance of going to the moon — we would be investable. We, as arts professionals, need to believe in every way that the work we do is essential to human survival. We require an unrelenting belief in what we do, deep into our bones, and we need to build a business case model so that investors are willing to invest,” said Nina Patel, Director, Daya Creatives, APAP (Association of Performing Arts Professionals) from a Webinar last June.

Bermingham continued, “Recruiting a new colleague? We have a baseball team, a community college, excellent public and private school systems, a vigorous and engaged business community, a museum, rich theatrical life, recreational opportunities not to be believed, and … we have our own symphony orchestra!

“Members of the orchestra themselves are teachers, doctors, lawyers, business leaders and owners, veterinarians (we have two!) students, the list is long, and they all live and work in Wenatchee. There isn’t a Wenatchian I’ve met since moving from New Orleans six years ago that isn’t proud to call Wenatchee home. Whether or not that person is looking forward to hearing Beethoven’s 1st Symphony misses the point. The fact that person can, and hear it live at the Numerica Performing Art Center (PAC), is something of a feather in our collective cap!” said Bermingham.

The passionate Wenatchee Valley Community College Adjunct Professor of Music said, “That’s my pitch to those who have for some reason missed the point. In fulfilling its mission, the WVSO enhances the quality of life in North Central Washington and in so doing attracts new residents and businesses and stimulates economic growth.”

“What Wenatchee business wouldn’t want to be a partner in such an endeavor?”  Bermingham concluded.

As a totally non-sequitur aside, Bermingham relates the fact that the WVSO also has a hockey team. It might be interesting to see a cellist on the ice and “between the pipes,” eh?

FYI – The WVSO begins its 74th season Oct. 3 from the Numerica PAC. This will be live streamed to those who purchase a ticket only. No live audience is yet allowed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Wenatchee Business Journal’s parent company, NCW Media, whole heartedly supports the efforts of the Numerica PAC and its variety of programs and is a proud sponsor of same.

To contact the WVSO, email Ron: Ron@wenatcheesymphony.org or call (509) 667- 2640 (office) or (509) 470-2886 (cell).


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