Why We Give

By Kit Gladieux

From full concerts at Music Hall to small pop-up performances in local neighborhoods and everything in between, our generous and dedicated donors, sponsors and concertgoers make it all possible. This article shares the special stories behind why our donors give to the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and Cincinnati Pops—each reason is different, but their passion for this Orchestra is a constant. Our donors and their inspiring stories will ensure that the unique sound of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and Cincinnati Pops will always resound.

You can join our family of donors online at cincinnatisymphony.org/donate or by contacting the Philanthropy Department at 513.744.3271.


Linda and Jim Miller with CSO Music Director Louis Langrée
Linda and Jim Miller with CSO Music Director Louis Langrée

“I’ve never been without it, really,” says Linda Miller when asked about her experience with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. “My great-grandmother was a huge part of my life. I remember going to concerts with her, starting when I was six or seven. I remember where she sat.”

Linda’s great-grandmother, Stella Heinsheimer Freiberg, was a founding member of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra in 1894. She was also a part of the first graduating class of the College of Music at the University of Cincinnati, or what is now known as CCM, where she earned a doctorate in music. She also held an honorary doctorate from Hebrew Union College. As she talked with Fanfare Magazine, Linda laid out a folder full of newspaper clippings, photographs and other documentation of Stella’s life, including her great-grandmother’s obituary, pictures of her and her husband, and even a photocopy of a CSO program from 1957 dedicated to Stella for her 95th birthday.

“She was quite a lady.”

Stella Heinsheimer Freiberg
Stella Heinsheimer Freiberg

Jim Miller wasn’t raised going to the symphony the way Linda was, but Linda has always been a part of his concert experience.

“I won some tickets to the St. Louis Symphony over 60 years ago. Linda and I were dating at that time, so it was a date night, if you would,” he chuckles as he reminisces. “When we moved to Cincinnati, there was a friend of Linda’s family who had season tickets. If she couldn’t attend, she’d offer us her tickets, and that’s how I was introduced to the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.”

The Millers recounted the different music directors they had seen on the podium during their nearly 50 years of attending the symphony together. Thomas Schippers, Michael Gielen, Jesús López Cobos, Paavo Järvi and, of course, Louis Langrée, all came up in conversation.

After 50 years, what concerts stick out in your memories?

Last season’s final concert, An American in Paris, “sent us dancing out onto the street,” Linda says. The smile that crossed her face was contagious as she spoke of it. “Sometimes you leave a concert, and you’re just floating. That’s the most recent one.”

The first Lumenocity in 2013 was another highlight. Linda was serving on the board of the CSO at the time, and she and Jim worked crowd control for the event. “Nobody expected that kind of an event. There were people in the trees!” She even confessed that she still wears her neon yellow volunteer shirt from time to time.

The Millers’ generous donations have helped to sponsor concerts and commission new works. They are staunch supporters of the CSO Proof concert series. “With traditional concerts, you like those because they’re familiar, but with CSO Proof, you’re never quite sure what you’re going to get. There’s a certain amount of excitement we’re looking forward to. What are we going to be exposed to and what is our experience going to be?”

What would a lifelong concertgoer tell someone who was on the fence about attending a CSO Proof concert?

“Give it a try! I’ll buy you a ticket,” Linda says with a laugh.

What started as afternoons with her great-grandmother has led to a lifetime of music for Linda.

“I’ll always feel a close kinship with this organization. It’s seriously, seriously important to the city,” she says.

As for Jim, his lifetime with Linda has led him to his love for the CSO.

“It’s something we feel very strongly about because it needs to be here in Cincinnati,” he says. “It needs to continue to be robust. We would like to do anything that we possibly could to make sure that success goes on for another 128 years.”


Dean Moulas and his son, Andrew D. Moulas, with CSO Music Director Louis Langrée
Dean Moulas and his son, Andrew D. Moulas, with CSO Music Director Louis Langrée

“We’re in Cincinnati. We’re not New York or Los Angeles or Chicago. The impact of having a full-time orchestra, not just in the caliber of musicians we have here, but the impact on the rest of the arts community is tremendous. To be able to have live music with the Opera and with the Ballet, is so far beyond the scope of just the Symphony,” Dean Moulas muses. The fondness in his voice is obvious.

Dean Moulas is a financial advisor and portfolio manager at Johnson Investment Counsel, a local investment management and financial advisory company and one of the CSO’s major concert sponsors.

“I’ve been involved in our corporate sponsorship with the Orchestra since I joined Johnson Investment Counsel in 2002. We want to support arts organizations and social services organizations in the community where we either have a direct interest or it has an impact on our city or our clients, and for those reasons we’ve been connected to the CSO.”

After more than 20 years of involvement, Dean’s dedication is clear. This season, Johnson Investment Counsel is the concert sponsor for “Hadelich & Holland” in April—a Brahms and Schoenberg program with a CSO premiere of a new work by Jonathan Bailey Holland and an appearance by Grammy-winning violinist Augustin Hadelich.

“My involvement specifically has really come from my love of classical music. I know classical music. I got involved with selecting the symphonies that we were going to sponsor, things that we would have interest in.”

Dean’s love for the Orchestra has a heart-warming beginning and a familial connection.

“I have loved music all my life, and it started with a love for my father…. When I grew up, my father had a lot of classical music on vinyl, and we would listen together.”

Dean expressed his love for all things Baroque, as well as his father’s fondness for the Romantic period. He grew up attending the Dayton Philharmonic. His growing love for classical music extended into his own musicianship; he played the tuba and sousaphone in bands throughout high school and his time at The Ohio State University.

“Is it true that you dotted the ‘i’ in the script Ohio?” Fanfare asked. It’s a legendary college marching band tradition, and the highest honor for any Ohio State sousaphone player.

“Look at you! You’ve done your research,” Dean laughs. “That was my moment of fame in 1986.”

Just as Dean’s musical interest stemmed from his father, it seems that he has passed it down to his own children.

“Actually, my son also plays tuba, and he’s in his fourth year in The Ohio State University Marching Band. It’s been very fun watching him.” Dean tells me about the conversations he and his son have had with Christopher Olka, the principal tuba of the CSO. Dean’s involvement through Johnson Investment Counsel has brought him experiences of personal connection that he greatly values.

What keeps Johnson Investment Counsel coming back year after year to support the CSO?

“Without hesitation, I would say it’s been a wonderful collaboration for our company. Not just because we want to support the Orchestra, which we do, and not just because we love the music, which we do, but because of the impact on the broader community.”

For Dean, it is the full experience that a concert provides. “To be in a city with the caliber of orchestra that we have, to sit in Music Hall and be engrossed in what’s happening in front of you, to see and hear it happening live…I don’t think that can be replaced.”