“I was delighted with the seating arrangements on my flight to Switzerland,” writes Danielle Braff in Thursday’s (3/7) Washington Post. “On my right was Vadim Karpinos, the percussionist with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.… Behind me sat Alex Klein, the principal oboist of the CSO … along with the entire horn section of the symphony…. I was flying to Lucerne, where the 110-piece Chicago Symphony would be doing a week-long tour. I don’t play professionally, but I’m married to Karpinos.… Turns out, you don’t need to marry a musician to have the same experience. In many cases, you can simply donate money to your favorite nonprofit—amounts seem to start at around $2,500—in exchange for the opportunity to tag along on an international tour with the organization. The patrons and donors get to experience the behind-the-scenes moments … along with having the opportunity to spend time getting to know individual musicians and other like-minded supporters, said Rachelle Roe, spokeswoman for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. But it’s not just orchestras that invite their donors along for the ride…. ballet companies, theaters and zoos take their donors to Africa, to Los Angeles and beyond.”

Posted March 14, 2019