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Joyce and George Kempton

Leadership Circle


Joyce Kempton’s life has always been filled with music. Born into a family of musicians, concerts were an important social activity for the family. Her mother was a piano teacher. And young Joyce quickly took up the instrument, although with a different teacher once she was old enough.

When Joyce and her husband, George, began spending the fall and winter in Naples, one of the first things they did was get subscriptions to the Masterworks and Pops series. (Joyce allows that George wasn’t a musician growing up, but that he still enjoys going to the concerts.) They’ve been subscribers for 20-plus years. Joyce has reveled in the piano greats who have performed on the Hayes Hall stage.

However, a few years ago, after a Masterworks season with few piano performers, Joyce wasn’t thrilled. Still an active pianist herself, performing with a local music club, she wanted to see more talented musicians behind the keys of the Hayes Hall Steinway. So she sent us a letter. Immediately, our team sprang into action as Joyce remembers.

“Someone asked me to lunch and I said, ‘Yes,’” she says. “By the end of it, I had agreed to underwrite a pianist the next year. My husband jokes that it was an expensive lunch, but I like to think I helped the organization just a little bit.”

This month the Kemptons are underwriting André Watts’ Masterworks performances. “It’s so exciting to be a part of it,” Joyce says. “Every year now I look through the list to see who the pianists are so I can sponsor a performance. Last year, it was a Rachmaninoff concerto. He’s my favorite. And this year it’s André Watts, who is wonderful.”



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