Syracuse Sounds of Music Association, Inc.

Supporting Music in Our Community

About the SSMA

The Encore Shop Awaits its New Sign

Our Mission

To support local music and music education in the Central New York area, through fundraising events and projects; to share our passion for music.

About Us

Founded in 1961, the organization formerly known as the Syracuse Symphony Association announced its reorganization and new name in June 2012 after a year-long effort to adapt to a new reality: after the bankruptcy of the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra, our mission to financially support the SSO through our volunteer efforts was no longer viable. While the members of the 50-year-old orchestra are also trying to reestablish themselves and return to Syracuse as its musical centerpiece, we at the Syracuse Sounds of Music Association are moving forward with a new mission and renewed vigor and enthusiasm. Note: The SSMA is recognized by the IRS as a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. When donating items to the Encore Shop, please ask for a tax-donation form.

We are anxious and hopeful that the Symphoria musicians and managers will find the support and financial backing to give Syracuse and Central New York a new orchestra risen like a phoenix from the ashes of the old orchestra. The SSMA intends to do as much as it can to help Symphoria with this endeavor. In the meantime, we will operate as we did while supporting the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra for more than 50 years, but will concentrate on supporting music throughout Central New York. *UPDATE: Syracuse, NY, once again has an amazing, world-class, professional orchestra: Symphor!a. Yes, that's its new name, which was announced at their Holiday Pops Concert on December 14, 2012. Welcome back, Orchestra!

Currently our biggest source of income is the Encore Thrift Shop in Fayetteville, New York at 119 Brooklea Drive. Staffed entirely by volunteers and supported by the donations from community members and friends of music, the Encore Shop continues to be extremely popular and welcomes all who want to support music while enjoying the great bargains!

In addition to revenues earned by the Encore Shop, the SSMA will hold a series of fundraising events throughout the year. These include a dinner and silent auction in October, a winter luncheon called Intermezzo in December, and a variety of other events such as tea parties in smaller venues in the months to come.

The SSMA also administers the Sally Whittle Fund, a scholarship program for Central New York high school students who plan to make music performance and/or music education their careers. The 2012 recipient was John Krause of Chittenango High School, who will attend Boston Conservatory in the fall. He received a check for $1000 at the 2012 annual meeting and luncheon. The 2013 recipients are Shawn Davern of
West Genesee High School and Sam Meyer of Skaneateles High School. They each received $1000 at the 2013 Annual Meeting at the Linklaen House in June.

Your donations make a difference to targeted community projects. Our Funds Distribution Committee (FDC) goes out into the music community to gather information to assess where our donations can make a difference. For example, our FDC determined that we could help two students go to a summer music camp (on scholarship) who might otherwise not be able to attend, thus encouraging music education.

2011-2012 Recipients of SSMA’s Distributed Funds:
Syracuse Youth Orchestra (tuition allotment); Syracuse Youth String Orchestra (tuition allotment); Imagine Syracuse (funding for music teachers); Cultural Resources Council (upkeep and repair of former SSO instruments). Symphor!a, the reorganized orchestra formerly known as the SSO, received a check from us for $15,000 at the Holiday Pops Concert on December 14, 2012.

2012-2013 Recipients of SSMA's Distributed Funds:
Syracuse Friends of Chamber Music, The Society for New Music, Cathedral Academy at Pompei Orchestra Program, Syracuse Opera, Syracuse Children’s Chorus, and The Good Life Philanthropic Youth Foundation.

2013-2014 Recipients of SSMA's Distributed Funds:
New in 2014: Syracuse Dept. of Parks and Recreation, CNY Assoc. of Music Teachers Summer Camp, Signature Syracuse, Syracuse Youth Orchestras, CNY Jazz Arts Foundation. Second-year applicants: Good Life Philanthropic Youth Foundation, Syracuse Children's Chorus, Cathedral Academy at Pompei Symphonic Music Program, Society for New Music, Syracuse Opera. In addition, the SSMA provided the sponsorship of the December 2013 Symphoria Holiday Pops Concert.

If you are part of a Central New York not-for-profit (501 (C)(3)) music organization, and would like to be considered for future funding, send an e-mail to to receive an application for the next round of funding awards.