The Howard Performing Arts Center just wrapped up its tenth anniversary season, and it has left us with many reasons to continue celebrating! This season, nearly 50,000 people walked through our doors and the Howard Center Presents… series saw a 20 percent increase in ticket sales. In addition to this series, the building has been humming with Andrews University Department of Music ensemble concerts, recitals, the WAUS Second Sunday Concert Series, community groups including the Berrien Springs public schools, St. Joseph High School, Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestra, Lake Michigan Youth Orchestra, the Optimist Club, Cornerstone Chamber of Commerce, and more. Our lobby has been the picturesque location of many weddings, wedding receptions, graduation parties, business luncheons, retirement parties, and other festive events. Truly, the Howard Center is well loved.
In 2003, I was a sophomore at Andrews University. I was majoring in public relations, but spent much time studying and practicing my violin for my music minor. From the first time I performed in the Andrews University Symphony Orchestra on stage at the Howard Center, I was in love! It seemed this brick and mortar building had a heartbeat. I was drawn in by the energy it brought out of the people that gathered here and inspired by the generosity and passion John and Dede Howard have for music and their community. Today that spirit lives on. I am one student impacted by the Howard Performing Arts Center, yet thousands of other students have performed here, and each has his or her own story to tell.
The Howard Performing Arts Center is a place for the community and campus to gather in friendship. It’s a place of education, where young people make memories of their first performances, minds are enriched through music, and the arts flourish.
On average, tickets each season take care of 35 percent of our programming expenses. Our community sponsors help to boost this percentage as well. Still, we end each season with a funding gap, and today I am asking you to consider a gift that will help bridge this gap. Every donation makes a difference and is greatly appreciated. Thank you for your part in making the Howard Center a success. I hope you will help us to continue the decade long tradition of making the Howard Center your home for an exceptional concert experience.