The Jackson Symphony Orchestra is honored to announce that on the 30th Anniversary of our Community Music School, it will be renamed the Jackson Symphony Orchestra Ronald and Marvel Jones Community Music School. We are proud to name our facility after these outstanding members of our community. Ron and Marvel’s commitment of $2 million to the Jackson Symphony Orchestra Foundation will help ensure that students of all ages have access to music education at an affordable price for many years to come.
The couple met while attending college at Michigan State University and raised three children together – Carrie, Chris, and Connie. Both Ron and Marvel were in bands and played musical instruments. Ron could play by ear, and at fifteen years old, Ron played the organ for Arbor Grove Community Church. Marvel helped others in various ways, including starting an exercise class at Trinity Lutheran School, teaching several sessions of Stephen Ministries workshops, and leading a Bible Study for their church. She played the clarinet and was involved with the Sweet Adelines, a female singing group, for years. Although no one from their family became a professional musician, the whole family had a profound love of music and would sing Christmas Carols for the elderly around the holidays.
Ron and Marvel began their relationship with the Jackson Symphony Orchestra through Ron’s brother, Steven Jones. Steven was the Director of the Jackson Chorale in the 1970s and would collaborate with the JSO for Christmas concerts. The two still enjoy celebrating the holidays by attending the Jackson Symphony Guild Holiday Ball each winter.
After living in Jackson for more than five decades, their family business, Dawn Food Products, Inc. has grown from a local business to an international corporation. Both the Jones family and Dawn Foods have been major supporters, donors, and sponsors of the JSO.
“We’ve always been a great supporter of the Jackson Symphony Orchestra, and the integrity of the music they choose and the people in charge are just a bonus… it’s worth following where they are leading us in music.” – Marvel Jones
The gift from Ron and Marvel will have a tremendous impact on the JSO. Executive Director Steve Tosin, mentioned that “the fact that we’re using the gift to increase our endowment means that it will leave an impact in perpetuity. It will create both an immediate difference for friends and families as well as a long-term impact in our community.”
Ron and Marvel’s example of stewardship aligns beautifully with the mission of the Jackson Symphony Orchestra to provide world-class music and music education to the greater Jackson community. They give wholeheartedly to others and understand the importance of enriching lives in our community. As a result of their generosity, the Ronald and Marvel Jones CMS will continue to support generations of musicians.
“We just appreciate the symphony’s support of the community” – Ron Jones
The gift from the Estate of Faith Small of close to $2,000,000, and the commitment of a $2,000,000 gift from Ron and Marvel Jones, underscores the importance of planned giving and legacy gifts for the long-term sustainability of the JSO. Donations of this type allow us to operate boldly while achieving positive financial results annually. Our goal is to make our services more accessible to our community members and allow for more creative freedom in our programming. Simply put, the broader our programming, the broader our reach.
For more information about the Jackson Symphony Orchestra’s Ronald and Marvel Jones Community Music School, visit here. If this story inspired you, why not explore the many ways you can support Jackson Symphony Orchestra’s mission.