Lee Valenta, retiring general manager of Auburn Symphony Orchestra, recently was honored with the announcement of a new earmarked fund for the symphony in his name.
The Lee Valenta Legacy Fund – created by board members, musicians, community members and friends – will support the symphony’s education programs, expand the music library and enhance the excellence of the symphony for years to come. More than $20,000 has been raised so far, the ASO said.
The fund was announced at Valenta’s retirement party on Oct. 21 at Bogey’s Public House in Auburn, with more than 100 people in attendance. Among attendees were members of the symphony’s board of directors, symphony supporters, new Music Director Wesley Schulz, new Executive Director Rachel Woolsey, and Valenta’s wife, children, grandchildren and closest friends.
Valenta served as GM of the Symphony for 22 years, 10 of which he held the position and its demanding roles as a volunteer. His work kept the symphony alive, especially when it came time to find a new music director – a more than two-year-long process – and organize programming and guest conductors in the meantime.
Previously, Valenta had a long-term career working to create job opportunities and community support systems for people with developmental disabilities. He was a founder of Trillium Employment Services, created in 1983, which serves the community today.
Valenta is known not only for his work for the Symphony and for people with disabilities, but also for being an advocate in the community, passionate about helping others and sharing music and friendship with everyone he meets.
Learn more at auburnsymphony.org.