The Billings Symphony Orchestra & Chorale Receives Largest Donation in Organization’s History

Billings Arts

BILLINGS MT- The Billings Symphony Orchestra & Chorale is honored to announce that it has received the largest single donation in the organization’s history.  Jack and Adrea Sukin and family, and Robert and Sandra Sukin and family, through their company Montana Development Co., have arranged to donate their building at 2824 Second Avenue North in Downtown Billings, to be the future home of the Symphony’s office. An official appraisal of the building will be done in early January.  Local businesses The Sassy Biscuit Co. and Brockel’s Chocolates will remain in the building, along with other current tenants, Something Chic and Mist Salon.

“On behalf of the board, staff, musicians, and supporters of the Billings Symphony, we are thrilled and honored to accept this gracious gift from the Sukin family,” said Ignacio Barrón Viela, the Symphony‘s Executive Director.  “We are already working on designing what will be an incredible space to host music events, share stories, and explore partnership opportunities with our Symphony friends, family and patrons,” he added.

The donation could not have come at a better time for the Billings Symphony. In early August of this year, the Symphony learned that the Montana Bank Building, which has been their home for the past 15 years, was to be sold to the Big Sky Development Economic Association, which would need all of the available office space. Since then, the Symphony has evaluated over 30 potential new locations based on its needs, which include remaining downtown, accessibility, street level visibility, and close proximity to its home venue, the Alberta Bair Theater.

Jase Norsworthy, a former president of the Symphony’s board of directors and a broker at Re/Max of Billings, has been assisting the Symphony in its search for a new location. He said, “To be honest I can’t quite get my arms around the magnitude of this gift. I’m so excited about what it’s going to do for the Billings Symphony. When you combine the thrilling news of the building with the upcoming re-opening of the newly renovated Alberta Bair Theater, some truly exciting things are happening downtown, and the Billings community is the prime beneficiary. There’s just a lot to celebrate here!”

Norsworthy said, “This single act of generosity by the Sukin family is completely transformative for every other dollar we raise, because those dollars can now be allocated in their entirety to the things that lie at the core of our mission – like education, community outreach, and first-class programming. This gift is a huge win for all of our stakeholders, especially the Billings community. It’s very exciting.”

The Billings Symphony plans to remodel the existing office space, which comprises approximately 3600 square feet, to include not only office space but also meeting space to facilitate collaboration with other local arts groups.  Costs associated with the remodel will be offset by a generous donation from long-time Symphony supporters Dr. John and Patricia Burg.  “Coming at the same time as the incredibly generous gift from the Sukin family, this major gift from the Burgs is all but overwhelming,” said Bob Griffin, president of the Symphony’s board of directors.  He added, “It would be impossible to overstate how much we appreciate both the financial support we have received from Pat and John Burg over the years, as well as Pat’s musical contributions as a soloist and long-term member of the Chorale, not to mention her work as a board member.  We thank both of them from the bottom of our hearts.”   Anyone who may be interested in contributing to the cost of renovation should contact the Symphony Office,  at development@billingssymphony.org.

The Billings Symphony Orchestra & Chorale plans to move into the new building once renovations are complete in the summer of 2020.

The Billings Symphony Orchestra & Chorale is the largest professional orchestra in Montana. Established in 1951, the Symphony strives to enrich lives through music. Consisting of over 135 musicians, the Symphony serves a regional population of 400,000 people located throughout South Central and Eastern Montana as well as Northeastern Wyoming through its six regular season concerts, its free Concert in the Park, and over 100 outreach and educational events annually.  You may follow the Billings Symphony on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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