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Rosen and Schaffel families make $1.2 million gift to An Appalachian Summer Festival

BOONE, NC—A $1.2 million commitment honoring the legacy of Arnold and Muriel Rosen will provide important support for classical music programming at An Appalachian Summer Festival, the annual summer arts celebration presented by Appalachian State University.

The Rosen-Schaffel Endowment for Classical Music Programming reflects the Rosens’ lifelong passion for the fine arts, and their commitment to supporting arts programming in the communities where they lived and worked. They were instrumental in founding An Appalachian Summer Festival in the early 1980s.

The Rosens’ daughter, Nancy Schaffel, and her husband, Neil, created the endowment to continue the family’s legacy of support for the arts. Nancy Schaffel currently serves as chair of An Appalachian Summer Festival’s Advisory Board. In 2011, the Schaffels established a successful annual music competition at the festival, which promotes the careers of young and emerging classical musicians.

Throughout their lives, the Rosens’ love of the arts led them to foster the professional careers of young musicians, particularly young American musicians, many of whom have performed at An Appalachian Summer Festival over the years.

“The arts were my parents’ passion,” said Nancy Schaffel, “and they believed in establishing programs that perpetuate a lasting engagement with the arts. We are proud to carry forward their commitment with the support of the university, the festival, and other arts patrons who share our commitment to fine arts programming.”

The Rosen-Schaffel Endowment for Classical Music Programming will underwrite a variety of activities, with an emphasis on programming that is not otherwise available in Northwest North Carolina. Traditional classical programming will be supported with the endowment funds, as well as programming that introduces audiences to contemporary work, new work and interdisciplinary work and explores the relationship between classical music and other art forms such as theatre, dance, film and the visual arts.

The Schaffels’ interest in supporting the fine arts is based on their belief in the transformative power of music. “Exposure to great classical music is essential,” Neil Schaffel said, “and the classical masterworks have stood the test of time. The tremendous beauty, power and complexity of this music brings joy and inspiration to our daily lives, and is just as meaningful to today’s listener as it was hundreds of years ago. It is also the foundation on which much of our contemporary music is based.”

“This generous gift will enable the university to sustain and build its classical music program, which is central to the mission and identity of the festival, Chancellor Kenneth E. Peacock said. “This endowment will also ensure that the remarkable legacy of the Rosens will live on at Appalachian State University and will benefit future generations to come.”

Presented during the month of July on the campus of Appalachian State University, An Appalachian Summer festival has emerged as one of the nation’s leading regional arts festivals, highly acclaimed for the quality and breadth of its programming across the disciplines of music, dance, theatre, film, and visual arts programming.

The recent gift to Appalachian is part of the university’s $200 million comprehensive fundraising campaign, the Campaign for Appalachian, launched in October 2011 to improve academics, athletics and the arts for current and future students.

More information about An Appalachian Summer Festival is available online at