In an effort to raise money and foster a stronger relationship between fans and musicians, the Santa Monica Symphony, established in 1945, is launching its “Partner with a Player” program as part of its 2011-12 season.

The program will allow audience members to personally sponsor musicians. The scholarship benefits include: a photo with the chosen musician which will be displayed at all concerts; the opportunity to sit next to the musician at open rehearsal; and a musician meet-and-greet during the post-concert reception. Scholarships are available for $200 for each sectional player and $400 for each principal player. Up to four parties can split the costs.

“I think that sponsoring a player under our new program is an exciting way to get involved with the symphony on a more personal level,” said symphony music director and conductor Allen Robert Gross. “One of the great things about attending a live concert is the realization that real people are making the music for you, right there.”

Partner with a Player will commence during the symphony’s first concert on Oct. 29. A display of each musician will feature details about them such as their instrument, number of years with the symphony and daytime profession. These displays will be on view in the lobby. Audience members are welcomed to select their musician based on this information.

The sponsorships can be purchased at each concert throughout the season. For more information about the Partner with a Player program, call (310) 395-6330.

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