Charlotte Symphony Orchestra Inc
6210 Scott Street
Unit 213
Punta Gorda FL 33950-3901

The mission of the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra is to engage and connect our community through music; to enact our role as a consequential community partner; and to enhance the visibility of our community as a cultural center of interest, vitality and importance.

CEO/Executive Director Mr. Brian Laczko
Board Chair Mr. Ken Barber
Board Chair Affiliation Retired
General Info
Organization DBA
Charlotte Symphony Orchestra
Former Names
Charlotte Music Society
Charlotte Symphony Society, Inc.
Tax Exempt Status Public Supported Charity
Incorporation Year 1987
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Yes June 2018
State Registration Yes 0
Financial Summary
Note: Revenue includes the value of in-kind contributions/donations
IRS Letter of Determination
IRS Letter of DeterminationView
Impact Statement
Past Year Accomplishments:

1.This past season we launched our magazine called “Tempo” which contained an assortment of articles and served as our concert program.

2. Maestro Ponti was “Artist in Residence”, conducting master classes during the school year for the five bands of Charlotte High School, funded by a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Arts.

3. Our Symphony Kids program was very active, with Summer Music Camp for grades 1 through high school having the largest attendance in its 9 year history with 59. In addition, Maestro Ponti visited every third grade class in Charlotte County to teach an interactive music and art class using Saint-Saens’ “Carnival of the Animals”. The orchestra performed the same in concert in the performing arts hall, which the third grade classes attended, thanks to a grant from the Division of Cultural Affairs.

Needs Statement

1. We seek funding to enable us to provide housing for our musicians during the concert weekends (eight). Approximately 28 of the 70 musicians live more than 70 miles away from our performance venue, necessitating local hotel stays. ($16,000.00)

2. Funding is needed to expand Symphony Kids program to include the three high schools in Charlotte County. Since Charlotte County Public Schools does not find it feasible to bus the students to our performance venue, the orchestra would perform on-site at the high schools. ($60,000.00)

3. Assistance is needed with the purchase and rental of music for the 2017-2018 season. ($7,000.00)

Background Statement
The Charlotte Chamber Orchestra was formed in 1978 as a string orchestra of 13 players, directed by Fred Blake.  In 1987, the Charlotte Music Society was incorporated as a non-profit organization and in 1989, the name was changed to Charlotte Symphony Society, Inc.  Janita Hauk became music director in 1993 and Francis Wada in 2009. 
The name was officially changed to the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra, Inc. in 2003.  As of April 1, 2013, Maestro Raffaele Ponti is the Music Director.  This past March, Maestro Ponti renewed his contract for a period of five years.
There are eight (8) concerts currently planned for the 2017-2018 season, one of which is a matinee, and one a Young People's concert, free of charge. Children attend matinees free of charge when accompanied by an adult.
The organization is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors.  There are only two paid office staff: a full-time Executive Director and full-time Office Manager. 
Affiliated with the Orchestra is a volunteer group called the Phantoms of the Orchestra who provide fundraising and administrative support.
Areas Served
Areas Served
FL- Charlotte
FL- DeSoto
FL- Lee
FL- Sarasota
Service Categories
Primary Org Type Arts,Culture & Humanities
Secondary Org Type
Tertiary Org Type
Statement from the Board Chair/Board President

The Charlotte Symphony Orchestra’s 2017-2018 season marked the fourth year for our talented and charismatic Maestro Raffaele Ponti, and I’m pleased to announce that he has extended his contract with the symphony for an additional 5 years.

Our past season continued the trend of sold out concerts performed by a larger orchestra of ever more talented musicians. We performed 7 evening concerts and 1 matinee.

Our upcoming season will feature six (6) evening concerts and one matinee, all performed at the Charlotte Performing Arts Center. In addition, we will perform a concert at the Lemon Bay High School Performing Arts Center. This is a newly renovated facility equal in acoustic quality to CPAC, and provides us the opportunity to reach a broader segment of the community including Englewood, North Port, and Boca Grande.

We will continue our Symphony Kids initiative by once again performing a free concert for all children in third grade public and private schools, and home schooled children. And we will continue to conduct a two week Summer Music Camp in which we teach beginning students to play the instrument of their choice and experienced students come to improve their technical skills. Sixty (60) children attended our June 2017 camp.

We are also planning a free Holiday Concert for the patients and staff of Golisano Childrens Hospital in Fort Myers.

I’m proud of the valuable services Maestro Ponti and the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra provide to our community, and very much appreciate our community’s support allowing us to do so.

The upcoming 2017-2018 season will include three (3) Classical and three (3) Pops
concerts performed at the Center for Performing Arts in Punta Gorda.
The Orchestra will also perform for the first time a classical concert at Lemon Bay Performing Arts Center in Englewood. 
Budget $0
Category Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Musical Performances
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served General/Unspecified
Short Term Success
Short-term success is measured during the year by attendance at successive concerts.
Long Term Success

Long-term success will be measured by attendance in the following season.

Program Success Monitoring
Success is monitored by the numbers in attendance.
Program Success Examples
Concerts were well attended in the past two seasons as a result of the talents and charisma of Maestro Ponti.  The audience voted for the new Maestro with words describing him such as "Charismatic", "Fabulous", "Outstanding", "Professional & Polished", and, "He's the One".
This is the name of our educational outreach program in which we collaborate with public and private schools and home-schooled families. The program consists of school visits and band and choral master classes by Maestro Ponti.  Children are also invited to Orchestra rehearsals to sit on stage next to the musician playing the instrument they are most interested in.
Budget $25,000
Category Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Music Appreciation
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served Children Only (5 - 14 years)
Short Term Success
Short term success is measured by the degree of interaction and attention of the children participating.
Long Term Success
In this program the children can see, hear, and learn about musical instruments and musical performances. 
Program Success Monitoring
Program success is monitored by the comments of school administrative personnel.
Program Success Examples
This past season, five schools were visited.  At one, for example, not only were the children showing enthusiasm, but the school administration invited the group to return and also offered to help promote the Orchestra's scheduled concerts.
The two-week music camp for elementary, middle, and high school children was held June 12 through 23.  The children select a musical instrument to study from any instrument family.  The children will either learn how to play an instrument or learn new skills.  If a child does not own an instrument, one will be provided at no charge.  They will also receive choral instruction, and music theory and participate in music and movement.  At the program's end, parents and friends are invited to a performance of the students.  Tuition assistance is available, based on financial need.  The program is held at the Punta Gorda Middle School in Punta Gorda.  
Once again this year, dates, times, and location are coordinated with a local children's theater arts group so that children can take advantage of both for an enhanced growth and enjoyment experience. 
Budget $15,000
Category Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Music Instruction
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served K-12 (5-19 years)
Short Term Success
By the end of two weeks, a child will either learn, or improve his or her skills on a musical instrument.
Long Term Success
Children who have had no previous musical instruction will learn how to play an instrument, and to play it together with the other camp attendees as an orchestra.  In addition, they will receive choral instruction, music theory instruction, and gain performance experience.  Children with previous experience will enhance their skills.  All are expected to gain increased self-esteem.
Program Success Monitoring
The program success is evidenced by return attendees. 
Program Success Examples
When the program began nine years ago, only stringed instruments were taught.  Today, woodwind, brass, and percussion and choral are included.  
CEO/Executive Director
CEO/Executive Director Mr. Brian Laczko
CEO Term Start Apr 2018
CEO/Executive Director Email
Former CEOs/Executive Directors
Ms. Regina Buckley Nov 2012 - Apr 2017
Senior Staff
Staff & Volunteer Statistics
Full Time Staff 3
Part Time Staff 0
Staff Retention Rate % 100
Professional Development Yes
Contractors 3
Volunteers 150
Management Reports to Board Yes
CEO/Executive Director Formal Evaluation Yes
Senior Management Formal Evaluation N/A
Non-Management Formal Evaluation Yes
The Charlotte Symphony Orchestra has collaborated with public and private schools to offer programs in the schools, special symphony performances, and summer music camp.
In 2013 we collaborated with the Visual Arts Center to produce "Symphony at an Exhibition" concert performance and art exhibit.
In addition, we offer businesses, business organization and local government the opportunity to participate in "The Symphony as a Business Model" program.
In 2015, we coordinated our Summer Music Camp dates and location with the Charlotte Players Kids OnStage so that kids could take one camp in the morning and another in the afternoon to get a full day's exposure to the arts.
This past season we collaborated with the Peace River Wildlife Center to bring animals to the school visits that Maestro Ponti made to teach his music and art class on "Carnival of the Animals". 
The Orchestra also supports other non-profit fundraising efforts by donating tickets to symphony performances.
Charlotte County Chamber of Commerce2003
Leage of American Orchestras - Member2003
Punta Gorda Chamber of Commerce2003
AFP (Association of Fundraising Professionals)2014
Englewood-Cape Haze Area Chamber of Commerce2015
North Port Chamber of Commerce2015
Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce2015
External Assessments and Accreditations
Awards & Recognition
Charlie Award for Outstanding Artistic Achievement in the ArtsArts & Humanities Council of Charlotte County2014
Best Collaboration (with Visual Arts Center)Florida Weekly2014
Best Performing Arts GroupHarborstyle Magazine2014
Proclamation Charlotte Symphony Orchestra DayPunta Gorda City Council2015
Finalist-Best Performing Arts GroupHarborstyle Magazine2016
Best Collaboration (with Visual Arts Center)Florida Weekly2016
Risk Management Provisions
Government Licenses
Organization Licensed by the Government No
Fundraising Plan No
Communication Plan No
Strategic Plan No
Strategic Plan Years
Strategic Plan Adopted 0
Management Succession Plan No
Continuity of Operations Plan No
Nondiscrimination Policy No
Whistle Blower Policy No
Document Destruction Policy No
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy No
Policies and Procedures No
Multi-Media Comments by Organization
Please visit our web site at
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Board Chair
Board Chair Mr. Ken Barber
Company Affiliation Retired
Board Term May 2018 to Apr 2019
Board Chair Email
Board Members
Board Members
Mr. Kenneth Barber Retired
Mr. Forrest Bass Farr, Farr, Emrich, Hackett & Carr Law Firm
Ms. Joan Byron Retired
Dr. Christopher Constance M.D.Private Practice; County Comissioner
Mr. Scott Cottrell Retired
Dr. Ramon Gil M.D.Private Practice
Mr. Michael Grant Ambitrans
Ms. Liz Hutchinson-Sperry Red Hat Studio
Dr. Douglas Joyce D.O.Joyce Vein & Aesthetic Institute
Ms. Cindy Klispie Charlotte Symphony Orchestra
Mr. Brian Laczko Executive Director
Ms. Jamie Landsberg Community Volunteer
Mr. Van Lupo Community Volunteer
Ms. Lee McGraw Community Volunteer
Maestro Raffaele Ponti Charlotte Symphony Orchestra
Dr. Steven Shell Private Practice
Mr. Martin Voss Retired
Ms. Beverly Yankwitt Community Volunteer
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes
Board Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 17
Hispanic/Latino 1
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Gender
Male 12
Female 6
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 2
Board Orientation Yes
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 11
Board Meeting Attendance % 74
Board Self-Evaluation Yes
Written Board Selection Criteria No
Board Conflict of Interest Policy Yes
% of Board Making Monetary Contributions 100
% of Board Making In-Kind Contributions 100
Standing Committees
Current Year Projections
Tax Year Start Month May
Tax Year Start Day 01
Tax Year Begins 2017
Tax Year End Month Apr
Tax Year End Day 30
Tax Year Ends 2018
Projected Revenue $630,000.00
Projected Expenses $630,000.00
Organization has Endowment Yes
Endowment Value $126,000.00
Endowment Spending Policy Income Only
Capital Campaign
Currently In a Capital Campaign No
Anticipate Campaign within 5 years? No
Campaign Purpose
Campaign Goal
Amount Raised To Date 0 as of 0
IRS Form 990s
Form 9902017
Form 9902016
Form 9902015
Form 9902009
Form 9902008
Audit/Financial Documents
Financial Review
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201720162015
Program Expense$546,081$486,799$454,696
Administration Expense$34,336$36,211$36,575
Fundraising Expense$57,676$53,486$39,660
Payments to Affiliates--$0$0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.071.000.98
Program Expense/Total Expenses86%84%86%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue24%21%19%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201720162015
Total Assets$295,279$244,915$222,262
Current Assets$290,732$240,934$216,509
Long-Term Liabilities$0$0$0
Current Liabilities$178,561$175,179$154,686
Total Net Assets$116,718$69,736$67,576
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201720162015
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountConcert Revenue $285,823Concert Revenue $282,148Concert Revenue $271,908
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountContributions, gifts, grants $211,440Contributions, gifts, grants $224,985Contributions, gifts, grants $170,412
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountSettlement Revenue $136,374Ad Sales $31,538Fundraising $36,763
CEO/Executive Director Compensation N/A
Tax Credits No
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201720162015
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities1.631.381.40
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201720162015
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Financials Comments
Financial Comments by Foundation Financial information taken from IRS Form 990 and audit documents.  Individual contributions include foundation and corporate support.  Federal tax returns and audited financial statements reconcile.
Nonprofit Charlotte Symphony Orchestra Inc
Address 6210 Scott Street
Unit 213
Punta Gorda, FL 33950 3901
Phone 941 205-5996