“As a Philadelphia Orchestra subscriber, volunteer and donor, Jane H. Kesson was a well-known figure at the Kimmel Center,” writes Peter Dobrin in Thursday’s (11/8) Philadelphia Inquirer. “When the retired Abington-area music teacher died in 2017 at age 90, it came as no surprise that Kesson had left something in her will for the orchestra. No one, though, had anticipated the size of this something: $4.7 million…. ‘I was flabbergasted,’ says Cindi Pasceri, a friend of Kesson’s for nearly 40 years and executrix of her will…. In the Abington School District … Kesson led the choir, taught music, and over the decades escorted countless schoolchildren to the Philadelphia Orchestra. Her one-time students describe her as an unusually charismatic and inspirational figure. She never married or had children of her own, but her name will extend to new generations of budding orchestra-goers. The orchestra has [named] its series of free teacher workshops and related concerts for third- to fifth-graders the Jane H. Kesson School Concert Program…. Kesson’s only stipulation was that $200,000 of her gift go into the orchestra’s endowment, and it has. The rest the orchestra has used to close … budget gaps in fiscal years 2017 and 2018.”

Posted November 12, 2018