Fall 2019 Thousand Thanks Donor Gala
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Fall 2019 Thousand Thanks Donor Gala

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On Thursday, October 17, Converse welcomed donors and its Board of Trustees to campus for the annual A Thousand Thanks event. The festivities honored our Leadership Society donors who have given $1,000 or more to the School in the last year. 

At the reception, guests mingled with faculty, staff and students while enjoying refreshments and hors d’oeuvres. President Krista Newkirk thanked donors for their commitment to furthering the mission and vision of Converse through their generous gifts. 

“With this commitment to giving, you provide opportunities for our students to further their education, and empowering them with the voice, value and vision to effect positive change in the world,” said President Newkirk. 

See photo highlights from the evening:

This year, A Thousand Thanks partnered with the Petrie School of Music for the Converse Symphony Orchestra season-opening concert under the baton of Conductor Seigwart Reichwald. The concert featured the 2019 Young Artist Competition winners: Anna Neely ’20, vocalist; Joi Richardson ’21, vocalist; and Briana Scardace ’22, flutist. For a series of decades, the Petrie School of Music has hosted its annual Young Artist Competition to inspire students to further their music education. 

“Encouraging young musicians is one of the Petrie School of Music’s highest educational objectives, and we are so pleased with the group of talented musicians that come through our doors each year.” – Krista Newkirk, President, Converse College

“Tonight you will experience Converse Symphony Orchestra’s first performance in the newly renovated Twichell Auditorium, which was dedicated as part of the Zimmerli Performance Center grand opening this past Saturday night,” President Newkirk said. “Through the Zimmerli’s generosity and their belief in the transformative power of the performing arts, they have ensured that Twichell Auditorium continues to impact audiences far and wide as one of the South’s most iconic performance venues.”

Dr. Chris Vaneman, Director of Converse’s Petrie School of Music, greeted guests at the reception, provided a brief overview of the School’s innovative curriculum and shared the competition winners’ appreciation for the donors’ generosity.

Encouraging young musicians is one of the Petrie School of Music’s highest educational objectives. Founded in 1912 and named for its benefactor Carroll McDaniel Petrie in 1999, the Petrie School is a founding member of the National Association of Schools of Music and South Carolina’s first all-Steinway school. It offers a wide range of undergraduate and graduate degrees, and its “Creativity That Works” initiative infuses career preparation into every year of every curriculum.