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$400k donation will endow trumpet chair for Tucson Symphony

A recent contribution from the Connie Hillman Family Foundation will be used to endow a principal trumpet chair in the Tucson Symphony Orchestra, as well as a "Partner with a Player" program to grow the group's underwriting of performers' salaries.

The trumpet chair will be the first endowed position in the symphony's 87-year history, TSO spokesman Terry Marshall said.

The donation is intended to spur others to support the orchestra.

"We believe that making gifts and being recognized inspires others to make gifts," said Larry Adamson of the Hillman foundation.

The "Partner with a Player" program is "targeted at underwriting salaries through endowment gifts and multi-year annual fund commitments," said Mark Blakeman, TSO's president.

Donors to the program will be invited to sit onstage with the musician they support during a performance of selected work, Marshall said.

The foundation is also sponsoring André Watts' performance of Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 2 with the TSO in February.

Connie Hillman moved to Tucson in 2000, and enjoyed the city's arts and culture until her death in 2011, Marshall said.

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"Connie had an interest in the arts in Tucson and wanted to set an example of what people can do. All of the support will be spent in Tucson," said Adamson.

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