The idea came up at a recent symphony association board meeting when someone suggested buying a diamond to raffle off, and fellow board member David DeVinny, who happens to own DeVinny’s Jewelers in downtown Montrose, said he would donate one instead.
The diamond, in a solitaire engagement ring setting, is on display at the store and is valued at about $5,500, DeVinny said.
“I figure if I can’t sell it, I might as well give it away,” he joked, referring to the bad economy.
Only 1,000 tickets will be sold, said symphony association boardmember Dan McCaslin, and the raffle could raise between $16,000 and $18,000. Tickets cost $20 each or six for $100, he said.
Raffle tickets can be bought at DeVinny’s at 321 East Main Street, from any symphony board member, or at any of the remaining concerts in Montrose or Delta. They can also be purchased via email at email@example.com.
Part of the money raised could pay for renting performance space at the Montrose Pavilion and the Delta Performing Arts Center and could help buy more sheet music, he said.
“We have 70ish singers in the chorus and between 30 and 40 in the orchestra, and each of those performers need music,” he said. “We have to buy a copy for each member because of copyright codes.”
But the highest priority is to buy risers, which cost about $15,000 minimum, McCaslin said.
Every time the chorus performs at the Montrose Pavilion, he said, the symphony has to borrow risers from Montrose High School and transport them over. If the symphony and chorus had their own risers, they could be stored at the Pavilion and used by other school music groups and the Valley Youth Orchestra, McCaslin said.
The drawing for the diamond ring will be held during intermission during the symphony and chorus’ final performance for this year at the Montrose Pavilion on May 2.
Other performances this season include the An die Music, or To Music, the Valley Symphony Chorus’ spring concert, at 7:30 p.m. on April 9 at 7:30 p.m. at the Delta County Center for the Performing Arts, followed by a second performance on April 11 at the Montrose Pavilion at 3 p.m.
The next concert, Great American Composers, will be performed at the Delta Performing Arts Center on April 30 and on May 2 at the Pavilion at 3 p.m., when the winning raffle ticket will be drawn.
Raising money is important to keep the symphony and chorus going, McCaslin said, since the performances serve the entire area and draw performers from many surrounding towns, including Montrose, Delta, Grand Junction, Hotchkiss, Paonia, Cedaredge, Montrose and Ouray.
The Valley Symphony and Chorus gives 10 performances each year, McCaslin said, split between Montrose and Delta. For more information, see the website at www.valleysymphony.net. Tickets can be purchased for each season, bought at the door before performances, or by calling the Montrose Pavilion office at 249-7015.
Donating the diamond ring will be worth it, DeVinny said, and he hopes the raffle is a success.
“It’s a great organization, with all volunteer musicians, and they do a wonderful job,” he said. “It’s a real jewel and we need to keep it going, but it takes money.”