LDS Foundation donates $500,000 to Utah Symphony and Opera

The Utah Symphony and Opera is getting a gift that should be music to the ears of members and supporters.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Foundation will donate $500,000 to the music organization, officials announced Thursday.

"The foundation and other donors recognize the musicians' and staff members' significant sacrifices to help keep the organization viable during these challenging economic times," said Mark Willes, president of Deseret Management Corp., the company that oversees the foundation. "The Utah Symphony and Opera is a great asset and an important part of our state's cultural landscape. We are pleased to join with other donors in providing bridge funding to help at this critical time, and applaud their efforts to find ways to establish a stronger operating base."

Symphony leaders will receive $200,000 outright, while the remaining $300,000 will be donated as a challenge grant that encourages businesses and donors to make matching contributions.

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