Duke concert to benefit Foundation for Leadership Education

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The recently-established Foundation for Leadership Education will host The Duke Symphony Orchestra’s 16th year of entertaining the Beaufort community with a concert at 7 p.m. on Saturday, April 6, at USCB’s Center for the Arts. 

Beaufort is the only community that partners with Duke for off-campus performances. The 60-piece orchestra is made up of Duke University students who travel to Beaufort by bus and are hosted by Beaufort families for the weekend.

The Beaufort Academy Blue Notes, directed by Vic Varner, will perform two pieces accompanied by the orchestra. Following the concert, there will be an optional “Conductor’s Reception” at a private home in downtown Beaufort, wherein guests enjoy refreshments and meet the Duke students and their leader, conductor Harry Davidson. 

The event has a serendipitous origin, as Davidson and his wife were visiting their good friends D. C. and Nancy Gilley in Beaufort for a birthday celebration, where Davidson met Alice Moss, then director of the Beaufort Memorial Hospital Foundation. Out of those friendships, the idea was born. BMH partnered with Duke University to create a special fundraiser, and over the next 14 years the Duke orchestra raised over $200,000 for BMH programs. Now the hospital continues its support as a key sponsor.

“Beaufort Memorial has enjoyed a strong relationship with the Duke Symphony and fully endorses the continuation of bringing such a wonderful event to the residents of Beaufort,” said Debbie Schuchmann, Associate VP and Chief Development Officer for the BMH Foundation. “Being a small community, it is important we all recognize the need to support each other’s efforts and missions to make this the healthiest and culturally sound community in the Lowcountry. I like to think of this change as a passing of the torch from one strong community leader to another, and personally look forward to attending this time-honored tradition.”

Proceeds of this year’s Duke concert will help provide scholarships through the new foundation. 

“April 6th will be a special night for Beaufort and will make a positive impact in our community, as our new foundation strengthens leadership education for children in schools throughout Beaufort County,” said Charles Tumlin, chairman of the Foundation for Leadership Education.  

General admission tickets are $40 before April 5 and $50 at the door. Patron admission & Conductor’s Reception tickets are $80 presale or $90 at the door. This event has sold out in the past, so tickets are not guaranteed to be available at the door.

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