In January, True Concord’s Board Chair Andrew Watson announced a gift of $500,000 from Tucson philanthropist and arts patron Dorothy Dyer Vanek. The half-million dollar gift will support five new commissioned works and five new recordings over the next five years. An announcement about the first commission is forthcoming this spring, when True Concord announces its 2017-18 season.
True Concord’s music director and founder, Eric Holtan, called the gift “a game changer,” and said that “Ms. Vanek’s gift has positioned True Concord to be an American leader in the creation and recording of new works by some of the world’s best composers.” Board Chair Watson proclaimed that Vanek’s support over the last 10 years “has been transformational in bringing True Concord on to the world’s stage as America’s premier chamber choir and orchestra.” Holtan also said that “the gift represents a vision shared with Ms. Vanek to have True Concord annually premiere and record well beyond the first five years. We are deeply grateful for Dorothy’s extraordinary generosity and her faith in True Concord and her investment in our future.”
Dorothy Dyer Vanek began attending True Concord performances after the professional choir and chamber orchestra was founded in 2004. Formerly known as Tucson Chamber Artists, Ms. Vanek clearly knows a good thing when she hears it and in 2015 True Concord was nominated for two Grammys. True Concord’s first recording, Far in the Heavens: Choral Music of Stephen Paulus, issued in 2015 by Reference Recordings, garnered a Grammy-nomination for Best Choral Performance and a Grammy win for Paulus in the Best Contemporary Classical Composition category for “Prayers and Remembrances, which was commissioned for the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks by True Concord and underwritten by Ms. Vanek.
Dorothy Dyer Vanek has called Tucson her home since 1983. She and her husband Bob (now deceased), lived and traveled all over the world during Mr. Vanek’s 35-year career with Pan Am Airways before settling in Tucson. Ms. Vanek is guided by her commitment to philanthropy, education and the arts. Her love of music began as a child, attending symphony concerts and opera with her mother. She took piano lessons and sang in choirs throughout her school years. Dorothy believes in supporting her local community and has been doing so her entire life.
Launched on the wings of its true angel, True Concord has been given a ready opportunity to realize its potential in commissioning and recording new choral works.