Volunteers are an important resource to the orchestra community. The League thanks them for supporting orchestras everywhere. See below, and in the left hand menu, for all the resources the League has to offer.

Goldbook Project of the Month: Teaching Adults to Play – Society of Strings: A String Orchestra for Adult Beginners

Since 2007, twenty-five adults enroll annually in “Be The Orchestra,” an introductory educational program of the Oklahoma City Orchestra League and the OKC Philharmonic geared to teaching adults how to play string instruments.  “It started with a small group of music lovers who approached our education director and asked about taking violin lessons,” says Philharmonic marketing director Michelle Winters.  After completing the training course with cellist and educator Dorothy Hays, the first graduating class of “Be The Orchestra” was ready for more. This small group of enthusiasts has developed into a program dubbed “Society of Strings” or S.O.S., serving more than 100 amateur musicians in Oklahoma City.

Rehearsing regularly and performing throughout the state, S.O.S has become an extraordinary grassroots music program. “I never thought I would ever actually be a musician even though I’ve loved music all my life,” said one long-time participant. “It was basically like training an elementary school orchestra at first,” says Hays. “We covered everything from tuning their instruments to basic ensemble playing. And they just kept getting better.” Each year many members of the introductory classes join S.O.S and the group has become so large that a second ensemble has been established.

With nearly 70 string players in the original string orchestra, S.O.S. is now under the direction of Dr. John Schimek, a professor of music at Oklahoma City University.  Violinist and educator Jean Stratham leads the newer players in a group known as S.O.S. Encore. Dorothy Hays continues to teach the brand new players in the introductory classes whose enthusiastic graduates continue to swell the ranks of the Society of Strings.

For more information on this Gold Book Award winning project, please visit Society of Strings (SOS) on Gold Book Online. For other project ideas visit Gold Book Online and search for projects of interest to you. Gold Book Online is a resource for successful projects dating back to 2005, and facilitates easy networking and information sharing organizations.

A special offer for League of American Orchestras members!

Planning to attend the League Conference in Seattle this June? Holland America Line and the Seattle Symphony invite you to extend your visit and embark on a round-trip cruise to Alaska, June 7–14, 2014, following the Conference. Special group fares have been arranged and opportunities to meet other League members and their guests are being planned.

Holland America Line, a Seattle Symphony corporate sponsor, is offering the League of American Orchestras members the following:

  • Special group pricing on a variety of rooms. Many include ocean views and verandahs. Make a deposit early for the best selection of rooms.
  • Package includes 7 nights in a Stateroom or Suite, delightful dining options, and onboard amenities on the ms Westerdam, one of Holland America’s newest mid-sized ships.
  • Watch the sun set over the Olympic Mountains while cruising beautiful Puget Sound, after a 4pm departure from Seattle on June 7.
  • Invitation to a League cocktail party while at sea on Sunday, June 8
  • Dine with League group members by selecting the early dining option at 5:45pm in the Main Dining Room.
  • Itinerary includes cruising scenic Glacier Bay National Park and visiting Alaskan ports at Juneau, Sitka, Ketchikan, and Victoria, BC (passport required).

For reservations call 1 877 SAIL HAL (1 877 724 5425) and ask for the League of American Orchestras group pricing. (Group Code: TQJ, Voyage W450). To learn more, visit Holland America Line Alaskan Cruise June 7-14.

For questions, email Group Contact Linda Stevens, board member, Seattle Symphony, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Volunteer Council

The Volunteer Council and the League of American Orchestras provide leadership skills and assistance to orchestra volunteers through ongoing education and communication.

The Council works as your link to the League, by informing the League of critical volunteer issues and delivering the most pertinent learning and leadership development to your volunteer association.

The Volunteer Council is celebrating 50 years of serving America's orchestras! See the video for some of the highlights of the past 50 years.

The League recognizes and thanks the Volunteer Council and Sustainers for their longtime support of the Annual Fund, Campaign, and National Conference, and in particular for their countless hours providing assistance to volunteers in the field.

League Resources and Programs

League Publications

Other Resources

  • Association of Major Symphony Orchestra Volunteers
    The Association of Major Symphony Orchestra Volunteers (AMSOV) is a networking and support organization for volunteer leaders of major symphony orchestras with top tier budgets in the United States and Canada