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The Legacy Circle

The Staunton Music Festival Legacy Circle seeks to sustain world-class chamber music in Staunton for many generations to come. Members of the Legacy Circle share a commitment to support the Festival’s long-term success and financial security. Adding the Festival to your planned giving allows your passion for beautiful music to be sustained indefinitely.

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Frances Whitesel Smith adored music. A pianist and singer, she surrounded herself and her family with music. Today Staunton Music Festival is the proud beneficiary of her estate plan, ensuring that the world’s finest musicians will call Staunton “home” each summer for many years to come.

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Alex and Karen Green  |  Keswick, VA

Cheri and Phil Moran  |  Staunton, VA

Frances Dora Whitesel Smith  |  Lexington, VA

Hugh and Connie Westfall  |  Staunton, VA

Mr. and Mrs. G. Wolf  |  Cleveland, OH

Joining the SMF Legacy Circle provides satisfaction in knowing you have helped take a leadership role in sustaining this great music festival for generations to come. Your pledge will be specially acknowledged in all printed program books in perpetuity, and members are invited to wear the Legacy Circle pin in public to show their support.


Nearly all gifts of retirement assets provide you with control over the legacy of your assets, and the tax benefits can be substantial. By pledging a retirement asset, you can avoid the two-fold taxation on IRAs or other retirement plans and name SMF as the beneficiary of the retirement account after the donor’s lifetime. This would allow you to make the gift from the most highly taxed assets, leaving better assets for family.


Please contact Jason Stell at (540) 569-0267 or to discuss your planned giving in more detail. We encourage you to discuss all options with your preferred financial advisor.

Appreciated Securities

A contribution of securities to SMF can provide you with significant tax benefits.  If the shares you own have appreciated in value and you have owned them for more than a year, you will be able to use the current value of the stock as your charitable deduction. Moreover, in contrast to  selling  the stock  outright, you will not be required to pay capital gains tax on the appreciation. A gift of stock can be easily accomplished through an electronic transfer to our brokerage account.

Wills & Insurance

Like Griff Wolf and his wife from Cleveland, OH, you might wish to consider naming the Staunton Music Festival as a beneficiary in your will or life insurance policy. This can be accomplished by leaving the Festival a specific amount of cash or assets, a fixed percentage of your estate, or part of the residue of the estate after requests to other beneficiaries have been made. Such a gift allows future Staunton Music Festival attendees to receive the continued benefit of your support. 

A Charitable Trust

A Charitable Remainder Trust or CRT allows you to transfer property to a trust, which then pays you or your designated beneficiary a set annuity or percentage of the trust assets for life or for a term of up to 20 years.  When a CRT is established, the donor is provided with an immediate charitable deduction. After distributions are made to the donor or designated beneficiary, the principal will be retained by the SMF so future audiences may continue to enjoy beautiful classical music.

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