Greeting: A Message from the President
Volunteer Council President
During the League’s 2011 National
Conference in June, we heard extensive discussions regarding the ongoing
challenges facing all of our orchestras and communities. Many
volunteers attended in hopes of finding innovative ideas to continue
the work of their volunteer organizations in support of their
orchestras, as well as sustaining established, important education and
Although there were sobering reminders of what we continue to face, we
also heard stories of outstanding success from more than twenty
different award-winning organizations and many nationally-recognized
speakers on topics important to all volunteers.
The recap below highlights some of the volunteer sessions presented at
Conference. If you were not able to be there, or just wish to continue
the discussions from Conference, remember there is a networking
opportunity always available to you – just join the email discussion
group at americanorchestras.org, Interest Area:
Volunteers. This discussion group is especially valuable to new
presidents and presidents-elect for ideas and support.
This is the time of year when many of us are turning over our
leadership and planning for the coming year. I hope you will take
advantage of all the League has to offer volunteers and plan now in
your budgeting process to attend the National Conference in Dallas, TX,
June 5-8, 2012. I can personally attest to the value of attending
Conference. My first Conference was in 1988 as President-Elect of the
Dallas Symphony League Junior Group. I found it so valuable to my
leadership development and search for innovative ideas, I have
continued over the years to attend Conference at my own expense.
I congratulate each of you on all your accomplishments this year. The
thousands of hours you each give in support saves orchestras across
America millions of dollars and enriches the lives of countless
individuals both young and old. Volunteers are and have been the life
blood and most important resource for the sustainability of symphonic
music in each of our communities. I know each of you who are new
leaders will plan and implement your vision for your organization with
passion and purpose. I wish you great success.
President, Volunteer Council
Nearing the Deadline – Send
in Gold Book Online Submissions by September 8th
Due to a technical error in the
Gold Book Online submission process, we have extended the deadline for
submitting your volunteer project to Thursday, September
8, 2011. We apologize for any inconvenience this may
have caused you. The error has now been corrected.
Gold Book Online is a unique and important resource for
orchestra volunteers (goldbookonline.org). Originally an annual print
volume of all orchestra volunteer projects submitted for awards, this
website now offers an extensive searchable compilation of many years
and categories of successful projects. This is a gold mine for those
searching for information, but can only remain so if there continues to
be a wide variety of new ideas shared every year. The deadline for
submitting projects for this year is upon us – submissions are due
September 8, 2011.
To have a project considered for Awards or Roundtable
presentations at the League’s 2012 National Conference in Dallas, it
must be submitted electronically via goldbookonline.org. The submission process is
outlined in detail and is quite easy. Many groups do not wait for this
deadline, but submit their projects upon completion, using the
submission form also as their internal report form.
If you haven’t already done so, please share your 2010-11
projects by submitting them today– you will not only be helping other
groups around the country, but your submission may earn your
organization an award and a prestigious place in the program at next
Recapping Conference – Didn’t Attend?
Here is What You Missed
chief executive officer, YWCA of Minneapolis, was the Volunteer
Networking Luncheon keynote speaker at this year's League Conference.
at this year’s National Conference in the Twin Cities were treated to
beautiful sights, amazing sounds (including two concerts, each by a
world-class symphony orchestra!), and a tremendous amount of exciting
information to take back with them. For those who were not able to be
there, below is a recap of some of the volunteer-specific sessions.
Orchestra Volunteer Organization
This special session designed for incoming Presidents and
President-Elects was led by the current Volunteer Council Leadership.
Filled with information, suggestions and lots of hand-outs, this
provided the perfect prep for those taking on the mantle of leading
their organizations into the future.
In answer to input from the previous year’s Conference, priority was
placed on offering a variety of opportunities for volunteer delegates
to network at the 2011 National Conference.
Kicking things off, the Dine Arounds were expanded to two evenings in
order to accommodate all schedules. These Dutch treat dinners were a
great success, with 60-70 participants each evening. Attendees were
separated into small groups by time and cuisine preference, and each
group was hosted by a member of the Volunteer Council. This was a great
way to accommodate those who came to Conference alone with a great
dining-out option and a fun opportunity to network.
Another opportunity for networking was introduced at the annual
Networking Pizza Luncheon. The topic was membership, and attendees were
randomly assigned tables as they entered. Volunteer Council members
facilitated conversations at each table.. Topping off this session were
remarks by Becky Roloff, executive director of the YWCA in Minneapolis.
She reminisced about her own connection to classical music and how her
organization works with the Minnesota Orchestra. She concluded by
challenging orchestra volunteers to play a major role in broadening the
constituency for orchestras in their individual communities.
An additional chance to network was a bright and early breakfast
session. Tables were again assigned and facilitated by the Volunteer
Council members, however, the discussion was more free-form, with a
variety of topics ranging from technology to financial issues and
organizational structure. At the end, participants were encouraged to
share specifics with the entire group responding.
Specific Issues for Orchestra Volunteers
Three special sessions at Conference dealt with important aspects of
orchestra volunteer leadership.
Making an Ask
– Volunteer Council member and Director of Development for the School
of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Purdue University, Margarita
Contreni, and Robin Roy, the League’s former vice president for
development, conducted an informative, entertaining, and interactive
discussion on a complicated topic for many orchestra volunteer
associations. All manner of “asks” were addressed, from asking for an
auction item to asking for a major event sponsorship. Specifics on how
to make each kind of “ask” were presented in detail, and after each
type was addressed, all attendees were paired to role play each
Leadership Can Be Child’s Play – Jo Ellen Saylor, a former
teacher and 2011 Minneapolis Conference Liaison to the Volunteer
Council, conducted a lively hands-on session based on the book Toy Box
Leadership. Each table of participants was given a toy that was
mentioned in the book with which to play. After an allotted time, each
group was called on to relate how their toy exhibited leadership
skills. Jo Ellen then gave a condensed version of how the book used
that specific toy to illustrate leadership (or lack of leadership)
Orchestras and Engaging the Community –Volunteer Council
Sustainer Liaison, Lois Margolin moderated this panel discussion. Panel
participants included Sandra Weingarten, Eugene Symphony Guild; Marena
Gault, Dallas Symphony Orchestra League, Melissa Woolf, Symphony Guild
of Charlotte (NC), Beth Pusic, Omaha Symphony Guild, and Brenda
Azinger, Illinois Symphony Orchestra Guild of Bloomington. Each
panelist shared a specific way that their local organization had either
provided assistance to their orchestra by stepping inside its
administrative world and saving their orchestra a significant amount of
money or by reaching out into the community and bringing a wider
audience to their orchestra. All showed how orchestra volunteer
organizations can be the innovators for their orchestra’s community
Seven Gold Book Awards of Excellence were presented at the 2011
National Conference. The winners included:
• Dancing with the Stars (West Virginia Symphony League)
Presenters: Patti Carnemola and Jo Ellen Zacks
• 41st Designers’ Showhouse (Kansas City Symphony Alliance)
Presenter: Tracey Hawkins
• Music Memory (Dallas Symphony Orchestra League)
Presenter: Marena Gault
• Outreach Collages: Creative Arts Camps (Friends of the Symphony
Orchestra of Augusta (GA))
Presenter: Vonda Darr
• The Society of Strings (Oklahoma City Orchestra League)
Presenters: Katie Kucharski and Rhonda White
• 2009 Symphony Ball (Jackson Symphony League(MS))
Presenter: Kim Porter
• We are the Music (Santa Fe Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, Fanfare
Presenter: Matt Frauwirth
Detailed information (including contacts) for each of these projects
can be found at goldbookonline.org.
Further adding to the exchange of project ideas were two dynamic sessions
of roundtable presentations. One session was composed entirely of
fundraising projects, and another featured educational and service
projects. Additionally, the Volunteer Council hosted two roundtables: a
preview of the League’s new Membership Webinar, Recruiting Your Next
Generation of Volunteers: Part 1, and an educational
presentation on submitting projects to Gold Book Online. All eighteen
of these stellar project presentations were repeated multiple times to
allow delegates to attend several presentations in each category.
Moving Forward – Volunteer Council
incoming Volunteer Council President
The League is happy to
welcome five new members to the Volunteer Council for 2011-12:
of Sioux Falls, SD is the immediate past president of the South Dakota
Symphony League. She is a retired music teacher and has given much of
her energy to her league’s education programs, serving on the Education
Committee for six years. In fact, she cites her excellent rapport with
music teachers as contributing to her success as president of her
symphony league. She is also a member of Delta Kappa Gamma Society
International for Key Women Educators and is active in the Daughters of
the Nile, whose projects support Shriners Hospitals.
hails from Santa Fe, NM where in retirement he is active in the Fanfare
Group of the Santa Fe Symphony Orchestra and Chorus. John worked in the
Philadelphia area for many years as an executive with Aramark, and
served on the boards of several community groups there. He is a
percussionist by avocation and is an advocate for music education. He
has made significant contributions to the Fanfare Group in the areas of
grant writing and developing membership incentive programs. He is also
a volunteer for the Santa Fe United Way.
is a past president of the Utah Symphony Guild in Salt Lake City. She
brings a wealth of experience in working with her guild in many major
jobs and is currently on the guild’s fundraising task force. She has also
served in many significant capacities with the Salt Lake City Junior
League, and was chairman of the 1984 National Figure Skating
Championships in Salt Lake. She is on the development Board for the
University of Utah Nursing School, and the Philanthropic Board for the
Brigham Young University Nursing School as well.
is an organizational psychologist/consultant and has been a member of
the Boston Symphony Association of Volunteers (BSAV) for over 30 years,
and served as its Chairman (President). The BSAV has over 800
volunteers, 600 in Tanglewood and 200 in Boston. Aaron was also the
leader of the reorganization for the association. Aaron is a former
board president of the Boston Institute for Psychotherapy and is a
board member of the Massachusetts Community Outreach Initiative.
McKinney calls Oklahoma City home, where she is a
practicing attorney. As a member of the Oklahoma City Orchestra League,
she has served as President and Showhouse Chair and currently sits on
the long range planning committee. She is involved with the United Way
Allocation Committee, the OCU Law School Gala Committee, and is Chair
of the Executive Advisory Board of the Wanda L Bass School Of Music at
Oklahoma City University. She is also a registered nurse.
Taking the reins of the Volunteer Council as President for 2011-12 will
be Charles W.
(Chuck) Cagle of Nashville, TN. When Chuck takes over
as Council President October 1, he will become the first male to serve
in that capacity. This will be nothing new for Chuck as he was also the
first male to serve as President of the Nashville Symphony Orchestra
League. He is a former member of the Board of Directors of the
Nashville Symphony Orchestra, and is currently a Board member for the
Nashville Symphony League and also for the Friends Society of Tennessee
Technological University Department of Music. Chuck is an attorney and
chairs the Education Law Practice Group for the Nashville and Knoxville
offices of Lewis, King, Krieg & Waldrop, P.C.
Speaking Up for Orchestras - What
Orchestra Supporters Can Do
count on private philanthropic contributions for roughly 40% of their
revenue. As the momentum for tax reform and deficit reduction
increases, Congress and the White House are discussing proposals to
curtail or otherwise modify the income tax deduction for gifts by
individuals to 501(c)(3) organizations, including the nonprofit arts.
The League is playing an active role in major coalition efforts across
the nonprofit sector, urging lawmakers to fully understand how policy
changes could impact charitable giving, seeking protection for giving
incentives that support the valuable community services provided by the
full range of nonprofit organizations, and specifically championing the
public value orchestras provide in return for tax exempt status.
In the short term, there are efforts to extend the IRA Rollover
provision, which is currently available only through the end of 2011.
Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has introduced the Public Good IRA Rollover
Act of 2011, which would make permanent and expand the IRA charitable
rollover, lifting the $100,000 charitable gift limit and lowering the
age of the donor to 59 ½. The legislation’s lead Republican co-sponsor
is Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME). Read more about charitable giving incentives broadly, or the
IRA Rollover specifically, and tell your
members of Congress about the valuable ways your orchestra serves the
Volunteer Council Seeks Your Feedback
League’s Volunteer Council wants to know more about how your volunteer
organization aids orchestras and continually seeks your feedback on the
issues you think are most pressing to volunteers today. Send
suggestions and comments to
Please also send story ideas and photos of volunteers in action to
inclusion in Volunteer Notes. Photos should be high resolution (300 dpi
minimum) and JPG or GIF format. Please also include photo credits with