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Celebrating 80 Years - The Sound of Celebration, 1947, Colorado Springs Symphony

Tags: #Celebrating80Years

#Celebrating80Years: 2017 marked 80 years of working with Colorado’s nonprofits as they seek to strengthen their communities. Throughout 2018, we will be looking back on this history of the outstanding organizations and people the Trustees have had the opportunity to support. On the blog you will find a history of the Foundation’s grant making and a representative organization from every year since our founding in 1937.


Julie Penrose was an avid fan and sponsor of the arts and culture scene in Colorado Springs, and this included the Colorado Springs Symphony. Founded in 1927, the Colorado Springs Symphony Ensemble was known for its ability to captivate audiences with talent from around the world until its closure in 2003. Each season the Symphony would publish its series in the Gazette Telegraph and tickets were often purchased via these newspaper cut-outs. In the summer, the Ensemble was known to perform in many of the city’s parks and even the Broadmoor World Arena during the Christmas holiday season.


Grantee Spotlight: Colorado Springs Symphony

Originally founded in 1927, the Colorado Springs Symphony first became a grantee of El Pomar Foundation in December 1941. At that time, the boom of mining Cripple Creek brought socialites from around the world to Colorado Springs in search of arts and entertainment. The Penroses and El Pomar were generous in their efforts to bolster this lively arts and culture scene developing around the Broadmoor Art Academy and other major organizations.

Among the Symphony’s most prominent programs in its rich, 76-year history was a large 4th of July celebration in 1991 and a 50th anniversary program to commemorate those lost in World War II. The organization continued to distinguish itself with engaging programming until its bankruptcy in 2003, at which point the Colorado Springs Philharmonic was formed. In 2017, the Colorado Springs Symphony Guild, the oldest affiliate organization to the Symphony itself, was once again sponsored by El Pomar for their 90th anniversary gala.



El Pomar in 1947: 

In its tenth year, the Foundation made 46 grants, totaling $365,620 including numerous funds for scholarships and grants to parishes and churches along the Front Range.


Image from: Newspaper Archive, Colorado Springs Gazette, 1978

Spotlight by Ginni Hill