The Guild

The Lexington Philharmonic Orchestra began in 1961 as the Central Kentucky Philharmonic, a group of 65 volunteer musicians who performed 3 subscription concerts their first year for an eager audience. The following year they increased their performances to five, and discovered the need for support, advertising, and money!

So, in the summer of 1961, Lois Don Beard invited several friends to meet at her home for the expressed purpose of discussing how they, a group of about twelve musical fine arts supporters, could assist the orchestra. From that meeting, Jean Pival was elected the first president of the Philharmonic Guild. They began a frundraising campaign that survives to this day.

During the early days of the Guild, members of the orchestra were not paid. The Guild sold tickets to concerts, brought food to rehearsals and performances, and appeared on television talk shows to raise community awareness. These efforts continued with the appointment of the second conductor, Leo Scheer, who also pressed for some stipend for orchestra members. Those musicians who lived in other counties were granted mileage money and those in town who needed sitters for their children were given a contribution.

In 1965, under the artful guidance of its chairwoman Mrs. Helen Warneke, the Philharmonic Guild launched the first of many well-attended and much anticipated Grand Balls to raise further funds for the orchestra. The Philharmonic Ball stands as our most influential and substantial fundraising activity, and it reigned for more than 40 years as the longest running ball in Lexington.

In the years since the Guild's inception, our fundraising efforts have brought in many thousands of dollars for the orchestra, and included exciting and lucrative activities such as our annual fashion show, silent auctions, live auctions, and Dinners for the Podium to name just a few.

Today the Guild is comprised of more than 100 members and continues to grow, faithful in its quest to support the orchestra through volunteer activities, community education, and the raising of funds.

Dues: Today the Philharmonic Guild provides an opportunity for orchestra supporters to raise community awareness and raise funds for the orchestra and its many education and cultural endeavors. Members have the choice of membership participation as represented in the 3-part dues structure:

  • $40: Active Member (receives the newsletter; participates on committees and attends all meetings and events)
  • $50: Associate Member (receives the newsletter; attends meetings and events as desired)
  • $75: Couples Member (receive the newsletter; at least one of the couple participates on committees and attends all meetings and events)

Social Activities: Throughout the year the Philharmonic Guild brings its membership together to encourage a closer and more thoughtful working relationship during our fundraising efforts. Membership meetings are often enhanced by performances of local musicians and educational programs designed to enlighten even the most ardent musical aficionado.

  • Membership Tea
  • Holiday coffee
  • Orchestra Appreciation Night
  • Spring Fashion Show
  • Past Presidents' Luncheon
  • League of American Orchestras annual conference
  • Presentation of julep cups to guest concert performers
  • Presentation of high school awards
  • Monthly Membership Meetings

Service Activities: The Philharmonic Guild is first and foremost dedicated to raising funds to support our orchestra and its programs. Members can get involved in may ways, by holding an office or by volunteering:

Volunteer to Serve on the Board: Philharmonic Guild Executive Board of Directors: President, 1st Vice President, 2nd Vice President, 3rd Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary, Corresponding Secretary
Volunteer for Standing Committees: Primary fundraiser, database management, education, fashion show, finance & budget, house, history, hospitality, membership, newsletter, nominating, orchestra appreciation, past presidents' luncheon, publicity, yearbook
Volunteer for Concerts: greeting guest musicians and escorting them as needed; face-painting and sandwich making for the peanut butter & jelly concerts; ushers for educational concerts; assisting orchestra office with mailings

If you are interested in more information or would like to get in contact with the Lexington Philharmonic Guild, please contact Phyllis Rogers at