The Bancroft Initiative

The Bancroft Initiative (“The Initiative”) launched in the fall of 2020 by Symphony Board member Paul Bancroft and his wife, Clara, along with the Bancroft-Clair Foundation. The plan for the 12-year Initiative is to:

  • Help the Symphony continue to deliver live classical music to more than 60,000 young people each year in the greater Austin community.
  • Expand ASO’s reach and audience to include more diverse Austin communities.

Each year, the Symphony’s budget for its Youth/Education Programs exceeds $500,000. That’s $10 per child. It is funded entirely by you.

The Initiative’s support has provided the opportunity to target donations specifically to our Youth/Education Programs. Each of our programs provides important early access for our children who might otherwise never be exposed to live classical music during their school years. Our programs include:

  • Building Blocks of the Orchestra (for K-3rd Grade)
  • Children’s Day Art Park (2-10 years of age)
  • Halloween Children’s Concert (2-10 years of age)
  • Young People’s Concerts (5th-6th Grade)
  • Middle School Concerts (6th-8th Grade)
  • High School Concerts (9th-12th Grade)
  • Sarah & Ernest Butler Texas Young Composers Competition & Concert (18 years and younger)

In addition to supporting our Youth/Education Programs, The Initiative provided funding for a new ASO website making it more accessible and engaging for constituents. Also, with the help of filmmaker and board trustee Chris Sibley, the Initiative will present new educational videos that “tell the story” of the Symphony’s programs. These videos will be released throughout the season.

Next year, The Initiative will help underwrite a new type of Masterworks Series concert at the Long Center. The Initiative is committed to expanding the reach of the ASO Masterworks Series to a broader cross-section of the Austin community. It will launch new and innovative concerts, which present compositions from around the world. Annual performances will follow each year thereafter. Maestro Peter Bay has already planned the program for the first Initiative performance, scheduled for September 2021, which celebrates the sounds of Mexico, Argentina and Spain.

Please help us continue to provide Youth/Education Programs by donating.

The Austin Symphony Orchestra is grateful for The Bancroft Initiative’s support.