Volunteer Notes July 2009

The Newsletter for Symphony Orchestra Volunteers

 

The Newsletter for
Symphony Orchestra Volunteers

July 2009

GREETING: Message from Our President

MEETING: Grace Seitz, Conference Chair

PARTICIPATING: Gold Book Online

READING: Book Review

INVOLVING: Arts Advocacy

INFORMING: Cross-Country Events

HEARING FROM YOU

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VOLUNTEER NOTES is published bi-monthly by the Volunteer Council of the League of American Orchestras, the nonprofit service and educational organization dedicated to the development of American symphony orchestras and to the cultural vitality of the
communities they serve.
 
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GOLD BOOK ONLINE -- The Resource for Volunteer Projects

 

GREETING: Message from Our President

Volunteer Council President Judy Christl

Volunteer Council President Judy Christl

Dear Symphony Volunteers,

This is the time of year when many of us welcome new leadership and new board members into our organizations.

Leadership turnover brings its own challenges—learning new roles, moving our associations forward, engaging our chairs and membership in another cycle of projects and events for our orchestras. It is a time when the Volunteer Council becomes more aware of our dedication to providing information and resources to help you enhance your association. If you are a new leader or a continuing leader eager for more information and inspiration, we are here to help you.

We are celebrating the successes of the League’s 2009 Conference in Chicago where volunteers were offered leadership training, award-winning project ideas, and the chance to hear about the challenges of the orchestral world. We continue to look for opportunities for volunteers to be a part of conversations about general and specific issues in the field. Whether you were at Conference or not, discussions with your orchestra staff can improve your collaboration and provide a focus for your volunteer programs.

We look forward to providing information and inspiration to help you support your orchestras through the information on our website as well as through Regional Workshops, Peer-to-Peer conversations with the Council, and other communications.

As always, the best suggestions come from you, so let us know how we can help, and bravo on all the successes you have met with this year.

Judy Christl
President, Volunteer Council

MEETING: Grace Seitz, Conference Chair

2009 Conference Chair Grace Seitz

2009 Conference Chair Grace Seitz

If you came to Conference, you found that the Volunteer content of Conference was expertly dovetailed into the total activities, providing the most complete and meaningful experience possible for our delegates. And who has been the guiding hand behind this planning? Meet Grace Seitz, Chicago Conference Chair.

Grace is a native Floridian and a registered nurse with a varied background in the nursing field. From bedside nursing to teaching, and working as a legal consultant and in the public health field, Grace has done it all.

Her musical involvement includes singing in school and church choirs. Having raised her family and retired from nursing, Grace became involved with the Naples (FL) Philharmonic League, chairing many fundraisers, serving as president, and being honored as a “Woman of Style” for her volunteer work in her community.

When she is not occupied with her Volunteer Council and other volunteer responsibilities, Grace loves to do handwork, cook, and read. She and her husband, Jim, enjoy traveling and have a goal to visit the capitol buildings of all fifty states. They have fourteen yet to visit, and she especially looks forward to seeing Honolulu, Hawaii.

The task of coordinating meaningful programming for orchestra volunteers of all budgets and regions is a challenging one. The Council and the League cannot do enough to express our gratitude to Grace. With hard work, and true dedication to volunteerism, Grace and her committee chairs produced a great Conference experience. Congratulations Grace, and to your committee chairs, Helen, Laura, and Terri!

Sandra Weingarten
Volunteer Notes Editor

PARTICIPATING: Gold Book Online

Nine Gold Book award-winning projects were presented this year at Conference. You can read about each award-winning project, and many more, on our website at goldbookonline.org. Each of our award-winning associations sent volunteer presenters to Chicago to share their experiences and successes with our volunteer delegates. We send a big thank you to each and every presenter who spoke in Chicago. The Gold Book Online is about educating and sharing successes—the participation of our presenters in both submitting and presenting is key to providing this valuable knowledge to all orchestra volunteers.

Now it is time for you to start writing up and submitting your 2009 projects for consideration. No matter how big or small, each project has something to offer other volunteers. You might become an award winner too!

Each submitted project will be read and reviewed during the Volunteer Council’s fall meeting. If your association’s project is selected for an Award of Excellence you will be contacted by the Volunteer Council in January 2010. All submissions will be posted on our website, so your project will become a helpful resource by providing other organizations with valuable ideas.

Get on board and submit—we’d love to hear from you. The deadline for project submissions is September 1, 2009.

For more information and the easy submission application, go to the Gold Book Online at goldbookonline.org.

Remember—the Gold Book Online depends on you!

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact KC Skolnik at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Terri McDowell at terrimcdl@comcast.net.

Terri Mc Dowell
Project Selection Gold Book Online Chair

READING: Book Review

If you missed Jill Friedman Fixler’s dynamic seminar on volunteer leadership and new generations at Conference this year, then you definitely want to read this book. Boomer Volunteer Engagement by Jill Friedman Fixler and Sandie Eichberg with Gail Lorenz, CVA, is a guidebook that discusses baby boomers, post boomer generations, and volunteering in the twenty-first century. The book states that “boomers” (born between 1946 and 1964) have led change in every phase of their lives, and our volunteer organizations need an influx of change to survive. The book also provides the tools for working with the generations after 1964. According to Fixler, boomers work best in a collaborative environment. They require:
  • A fixed time for the volunteer engagement
  • Clearly defined responsibilities
  • Freedom to use their own creativity to complete the task

The author is especially helpful in identifying the world of boomers—mapping initiative, creating opportunity, developing connections, and capitalizing on boomer resources. Volunteerism in the world of the boomer is about creating, nurturing, and sustaining collaborations. Fixler’s step-by-step guidebook offers a new way to see, hear, and value volunteers. It will be a treasure for all volunteer organizations.

Helen Shaffer
Program Chair

INVOLVING: Arts Advocacy

Have you heard about the legislation that President Obama signed that will expand national and community service programs? In late April, the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act introduced new programs that will potentially triple the number of volunteers that participate in volunteer community programs. The new legislation specifically calls for arts-related volunteerism activities within the “Education Corps,” one of four new service corps. The idea is to identify and fill unmet educational needs within our communities. Artists will be elibible to participate through arts education, health care, and therapeutic settings, with people of diverse income and ages. Details in the legislation will be forthcoming and the League will keep volunteers informed of opportunities related to orchestras. For more information about the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act please click here.

Caryl Kassoy
Arts Advocacy Chair

INFORMING: Cross-Country Events

Marketing Chair Chuck Cagle
Marketing Chair Chuck Cagle
Anchorage (Alaska) Symphony Orchestra (Budget size 5)

Each year the Anchorage Symphony League’s largest fundraiser is Champagne Pops. It is always held in the fall, and heralds the beginning of the Anchorage arts season. The League kicks off the arts season “Madman” style as the Symphony performs beloved tunes by the legendary Elton John. The Anchorage Symphony is joined by vocalist Jean Meilleur and pianist John Regan of Jeans N’ Classics, a star performer in the arts and entertainment scene. Its concept of combining rock musicians and headlining stars with world-class symphony orchestras has drawn record-setting capacity crowds.

Click here for more information

Annapolis (Maryland) Symphony Orchestra (Budget size 6)

Each spring the Friends of the Annapolis Symphony hold Champagne Sunday, an elegant cocktail party in a beautiful location for members and the public. Although this is not the year’s largest fundraiser, it is certainly a lovely one. This year a local high school string trio played accompanying music.

Click here for more information

Ann Arbor (Michigan) Symphony Orchestra (Budget size 5)

The premier fundraiser is Hearts for the Arts, always held Valentine’s weekend, and features an appearance by Cupid. This is an elegant event with champagne and hors d’oeuvres, a sit-down dinner, and performances by orchestra musicians. There are silent and live auctions of an African Safari, a chance to conduct the orchestra, and tickets to NCAA Basketball’s Final Four. Another event is the Sight and Sound Competition. Music majors from the University of Michigan will submit 3-5 minute compositions, and filmmakers provide an accompanying film. The winning composition will be played live, accompanied by the winning film, at the Symphony’s final performance.

Click here for more information

Roswell (New Mexico) Symphony Orchestra (Budget size 7)

Roswell Symphony Orchestra partners with the Roswell Symphony Guild to provide a very special program to the New Mexico Military Institute, an excellent preparatory school for military academies. The program, called Symphony of Snacks, provides a box of snack food items, including a personalized message from home, three times a year to the cadets. This program is offered to the parents of the cadets to encourage the students throughout the year.

Chuck Cagle
Marketing Chair

HEARING FROM YOU

As Judy Christl stated in her greeting, the “The Volunteer Council is dedicated to providing information and resources that can enhance your association.” We hope that you will pass Volunteer Notes along to your board and committee chairs.

Please let us know what you would like to learn in Volunteer Notes. Would you like more skill-building topics, cross-country news, book reviews, projects, or other subjects? Your feedback will help us plan upcoming issues. You can respond to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Thank you for your input,

Sandra Weingarten
Volunteer Notes Editor

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