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PSO Chairman's Council donations announced

| Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2006

The Pittsburgh Symphony's Chairman's Council that was announced at last week's annual meeting is starting with 20 corporate leaders and their companies pledging to support the local world-class orchestra.

The companies will be expected to give at least $25,000 per year to the symphony's annual fund, said Leslie Wild Swensen , vice president for resource development. Many have been donating to the symphony for years. For example, PNC Financial, whose chairman and chief executive officer, James Rohr , is a new Chairman's Council member, gives more than $100,000 annually.

"Some will be increasing their gift, some will be in a holding pattern and some will be donating for the first time, but we're targeting a collective net increase of $250,000 per year," she said.

"This isn't just lip service, because these business leaders have promised to make personal gifts also, to reinforce the commitment," said Swensen.

The Chairman's Council also demonstrates "to elected officials in Harrisburg and Washington D.C., and locally to RAD, that there is a consensus among business leaders that Pittsburgh should retain a world-class orchestra," she added.

Murry S. Gerber , chairman, president and chief executive officer of Equitable Resources, said in a prepared statement, "The PSO is one of few truly world-class assets in Pittsburgh. It is a legacy entrusted to us by the corporate leaders and wealthy families from years gone by. Since ticket sales alone have never and will never do the trick ... it is personally gratifying to me that my colleagues share my conviction that the decline of the PSO will not happen on our watch."

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