Volunteer Notes Winter 2012

 

The Newsletter for
Symphony Orchestra Volunteers

Winter 2012

Greetings: A Message from Our President

League of American Orchestras National Conference in Dallas- Save the Date: June 5-8, 2012

Watch and Learn from The Best of the Best: The 2012 Gold Book Awards of Excellence Winners Take Center Stage

Dine-Arounds, a Great Way to Share Your Ideas and Experiences: Conference Volunteer Networking Opportunities

League’s Online Public Value Toolkit: Better Engagement with Your Community

Help Us Serve You Better

Communicating: Let Us Hear From You!

VOLUNTEER NOTES is published four times a year 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.

 

Contact Volunteer Council

Need a Mentor? Volunteer Sustainers Can Help

Let's Talk! Volunteer Discussion Groups

Gold Book Online -- The Resource for Volunteer Projects

 

Greetings: A Message from Our President

Chuck Cagle, Volunteer Council President

Chuck Cagle, Volunteer Council President

The Dallas Symphony Orchestra, our host for the 2012 League of American Orchestras National Conference, has more than 1,100volunteers who raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for education and community-service programs and whose assistance ensures the success of annual fund drives, season ticket campaigns, patron programs, and student tours.

I would like to recognize the Orchestra’s five auxiliary groups and thank their presidents and their members for their warmest welcome and gracious southwestern hospitality:


A special thanks to the Dallas Symphony Orchestra’s Director of Volunteer Services, Nancy McThompson. Nancy tells me the Dallas Symphony Orchestra staff, musicians and volunteers are eager to host the League of American Orchestra’s Conference in June and look forward to welcoming all the delegates to Dallas!

Chuck Cagle, Nashville Symphony Orchestra League
Volunteer Council President

League of American Orchestras National Conference in Dallas- Save the Date: June 5-8, 2012

The keys to success of our volunteer organizations are great leadership and teamwork! Begin making plans now to attend the League of American Orchestra’s 2012 Conference in Dallas and experience – in person – valuable leadership development sessions, award-winning volunteer project presentations, and incredible networking opportunities with colleagues who share your goals and challenges.

At the heart of Conference will be two symphony concerts in the landmark Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center. The Dallas Symphony Orchestra under Music Director, Jaap van Zweden, recently named Musical America’s Conductor of the Year, will perform on June 6 followed by a tune-up party for all delegates. The Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra under Music Director, Miguel Harth-Bedoya, will perform a second concert on June 7. The League’s Annual Meeting and Awards Breakfast will be held for all delegates on June 8.

Sessions specifically for volunteers include our Gold Book Awards of Excellence presentations on June 5 and two exciting Roundtable Award Winners presentations on June 6 and 7. All three sessions feature successful projects in education, fundraising, service, community engagement and more so be sure to bring a big pad and pencil or your laptop to capture all the great ideas! Dine-Arounds, our networking dinners, are scheduled for the evenings of June 5 and 6, and a special luncheon for all volunteers is scheduled for June 7.

See the articles below for additional information on the Gold Book Awards of Excellence and our networking opportunities. We will announce the Roundtable Award winners in the next issue of Volunteer Notes.

Conference registration and program details will be available later this month online at americanorchestras.org. The Conference hotel is the Sheraton Dallas Hotel and is a convenient walk to the Meyerson Center, the entire Dallas Arts District, and many restaurants. Hope to see y’all there!

Laura Hyde, Women’s Symphony League of Tyler, Texas
Volunteer Council 2012 Conference Chair

Watch and Learn from The Best of the Best: The 2012 Gold Book Awards of Excellence Winners Take Center Stage

A volunteer views a Gold Book project display at Conference.

A volunteer views a Gold Book project display at Conference.

Every year, projects from across the country are submitted to the League’s volunteer project website, goldbookonline.org. Members of the Volunteer Council spend weeks evaluating these submissions and ultimately select the crème de la crème of projects based on multiple criteria, including volunteer utilization, return on investment, community collaboration, innovation, and much much more. You won’t want to miss these award-winning projects (and great ideas!) as they are presented on June 5 at this year’s conference in Dallas, TX.

The winning organizations and their projects include:

  • COPW, Committee of Professional Women, an affiliate of the Los Angeles Philharmonic: COPW Instrument Drive for YOLA, an education project which assisted young people in Los Angeles with acquiring much needed musical instruments and earned the affection of these budding young musicians.
  • Dallas Symphony Orchestra League: Cavalli Rocks!, a fund-raiser/friend-raiser project for the savvy 40 and under crowd complete with fashion designer, Roberto Cavalli and the orchestra’s Young Strings performance with a rock band.
  • Gulf Coast Symphony Orchestra Guild: Playing Card Project, a unique fundraiser which parlayed a simple deck of cards into a winning hand for their orchestra.
  • Huntsville Symphony Orchestra Guild: Huntsville Symphony Orchestra Guild’s 50th Anniversary Celebration, a community engagement project which linked the commission of a new orchestral work by an American female composer, a 50th anniversary luncheon and a gala premiere of the commissioned symphonic work.
  • Naples Philharmonic Orchestra League: 10K Run for Music (10K Race and 1 Mile Walk), a collaboration with the Naples running community which brought Philharmonic musicians and the public together in a winning combination.
  • New West Symphony League: Pleasure of Your Company, a fundraiser which takes a perennial favorite, the party format, and kicks it up a notch or two with west coast flair – plus EVERYTHING was donated!
  • Southwest Florida Symphony Society: Yacht Hop– a progressive party in the sun and ambience of the Gulf Harbour raised beaucoup dollars (and friends) for their symphony, AND Sanctuaries in the Sky, not your typical designer house by any stretch of the imagination – this project dreams big as the ultimate guest experience!
  • The Symphony Guild of Charlotte: Leadership Retreat to Meet the Challenges and Chart the Future AND Musical Petting Zoo Job Descriptions, two organizational structure/leadership projects will be presented as a separate 30-minute panel discussion “Empowering Leadership at the Grass Roots Level” prior to the other Awards presentations.


Congratulations to this year’s Award of Excellence winners! Join us at Conference in Dallas, June 5-8, and take home a wealth of great ideas and proven techniques.

Linda Weisbruch, Symphony Guild of Charlotte
Volunteer Council Gold Book Awards Chair

Dine-Arounds, a Great Way to Share Your Ideas and Experiences: Conference Volunteer Networking Opportunities

Volunteers enjoy a meal together.

Volunteers enjoy a meal together.

The most exciting place to dine in Dallas on June 5 will be with other volunteers at the Conference 2012 Dine-Arounds. Participants in this optional Dutch-treat dining experience will be able to network informally with other volunteers and enjoy a great meal at one of Dallas’ premier restaurants. All restaurants will be within walking distance of the Conference hotel, and start times will vary to accommodate volunteers’ schedules.

Because of popular demand last year we also will schedule additional Dine-Arounds on June 6. These dinners will begin at 6:00pm and at restaurants within a five-minute walk of the Meyerson Symphony Center so there is ample time to get to the Dallas Symphony Concert at 8:00pm.

Everyone will have the opportunity to choose their preferred cuisine from among Dallas’ extraordinary culinary scene. Restaurant options include: Fedora, serving authentic Northern Italian cuisine; Screen Door, featuring interpretations of modern and classic southern dishes; and Tei-An, specializing in creative Japanese dishes.

The Volunteer Council also will host a networking luncheon on June 7 which will provide another occasion to exchange information. There is an additional cost for this optional luncheon.

Martha Long, a member of the Augusta Symphony Guild, describes her Dine-Around experience as “an unexpected, exceptional way to meet a mix of peers, share ideas, and discover a fabulous restaurant!” Indeed, these networking experiences are a unique opportunity for you to share what has worked in your community and for your association. Each of you has specific knowledge of your volunteer field, and your engagement can generate new ideas for others. We welcome your participation and believe you will truly enjoy your Dine-Around experience.

Remember to sign up for both the Dine-Arounds and the Volunteer Luncheon on the Conference 2012 registration form online at americanorchestras.org.

Jane Schwartz, Augusta Symphony Guild
Volunteer Council Networking Chair

League’s Online Public Value Toolkit: Better Engagement with Your Community

In its ongoing work to support orchestras in developing their education and community engagement, the League has developed a series of resources available online including a new Public Value Toolkit. This resource has several key components:

  • Description of current perceptions of orchestras and public-policy challenges
  • Sets of questions to foster discussion on ways to achieve true civic engagement
  • Unique messaging framework to communicate effectively our public value


Tens of thousands of volunteers who support our symphony orchestras across the country play a critical role in engaging with our communities, contributing to youth education, and strengthening quality of life.

For more in-depth information on this valuable resource as you plan your volunteer recruitment, community engagement programming, and communications strategies this year, visit americanorchestras.org/advocacy_and_government/public_value_toolkit.

Help Us Serve You Better

The Volunteer Council wants to serve you and your association better. From Volunteer Notes to Mentoring Circles to webinars specifically designed for volunteers, we have many resources to help enhance the functions of your organization. For associations who are struggling in these tough economic times or organizations that just need an impartial opinion, the Volunteer Council is here to offer one-on-one mentoring and much more.

To do this, we need email addresses for the members of your association. Without these, we can’t effectively reach each and every member of your association, keeping them abreast of all the services available to volunteers. Help us help you and send email lists for your association members to Samara Ungar at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Communicating: Let Us Hear From You!

In an effort to be more in touch with all our constituent volunteer associations, we ask you to put the Volunteer Council on your mailing list. Please add us to your database for sending e-newsletters, and send us photos of volunteers working on your special projects at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . This helps us to keep up with your organization and provide the most relevant resources for you.

Also, remember to forward this newsletter to your organization’s Board of Directors and encourage any of those members to sign up to receive this information directly from the League by contacting Samara Ungar at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . We look forward to hearing from you!