Previous Gold Award Winners

Each year the Volunteer Council invites organizations to submit outstanding volunteer programs for recognition at the League’s National Conference. Learn more about the inspiring programs that have been recognized in recent years and check out the Volunteer Project Database for award-winning projects going back more than 10 years.

2022 Award Projects

2022 Gold Award Winners

President’s Luncheon and Style Show
Houston Symphony League
Handout (PDF) and Presentation (PDF)

Learn how to showcase your outgoing President’s season with a Style Show that offers tips for what to wear at upcoming events for your volunteer organization!  Also learn how to create a Volunteer Fair for attendees to learn about and sign up for the many projects and activities offered through your volunteer organization.

Kentucky Derby Party
FRIENDS of the Minnesota Orchestra
Handout (PDF) and Presentation (PDF)

Talk Derby to me! The Kentucky Derby Party successfully raised fun and funds for our annual luncheon.  Learn how a themed party gets everyone excited about what color and style of hat they are going to wear.

70th Anniversary and Gala Celebration
Peninsula Committee Los Angeles Philharmonic
Handout (PDF)and Presentation (PDF)

Mastering the Mission Moment:  To compete for donor dollars, ensure your fundraising campaign tells a compelling story.  Learn how our 70th anniversary gala raised over $100,000 for the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

Symphony Splendor Garden Tour
Pittsburgh Symphony Association
Handout (PDF) and Presentation (PDF)

Explore new ways to grow your audience:  Escape to the sounds of a cello as you walk through a bamboo forest.  It is not a fantasy; you are on the Pittsburgh Symphony Association Garden Tour!

Picture the Music
St. Louis Symphony Orchestra Association
Handout (PDF) and Presentation (PDF)

For more than 30 years, the SLSO Volunteer Association has presented Picture the Music: a cross-curricular art competition. Picture the Music harnesses the power of creative expression to inspire students to get involved and stay involved in music.

2022 Spotlight Award Winners

Sing to Me Sylvie
Volunteers of the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra
Handout (PDF)

Friends of the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra believe you should not have to reside in Los Angeles to attend a premier of a new film by an upcoming artist. We brought that opportunity to Annapolis, MD as a fundraiser for the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra.

Car Raffle 2021
Quad City Symphony Orchestra
Handout (PDF) and Presentation (PDF)

Win Me!  Come learn how the Volunteers for Symphony raised $22,000 from their 2021 Car (2022 Subaru Outback Premium) Raffle.  Their innovative marketing strategies raised significant $$$’s to support Quad City Symphony Orchestra’s Music Education programs.

Upscale Sale (PDF)
Spokane Symphony Associates
Handout (PDF) and Presentation (PDF)

What to do with all those place settings? That too-big but still-beautiful rug? Support your Symphony and donate it to the Upscale Sale of every household item you can think of. Only high-quality household items accepted!

Membership Recruitment 2021-22 (PDF)
Women’s Symphony League of Tyler
Handout (PDF) and Presentation (PDF)

This Membership Recruitment program attracts new members by recruiting mothers and their children for current and future membership. As members, they participate in volunteer activities, gain leadership skills, and contribute to Orchestra events. Through this structure, an effective membership recruitment program is in place.

2022 Classic Award Winner

Symphony Book Fair
Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra Volunteers
Handout (PDF) and Presentation (PDF)

Like the saying goes, “Through rain, sleet, hurricane, and unreasonably high humidity, our volunteers are there to accept donations for the annual Symphony Book Fair!” How we keep our volunteers motivated going into our 70th annual book fair.

2021 Award Projects

2021 Gold Award Winners

Symphony of Flavors (PDF)
Arkansas Symphony Orchestra Guild

Starting from scratch, the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra Guild stirred up essential ingredients of food, wine, music, and fun as the recipe for a successful virtual fundraiser.

Music Matters Online (PDF)
Illinois Symphony Guild

The Illinois Symphony Orchestra and volunteers brought live performances of music from around the world to children during a pandemic through an interactive map, videos, and information about the composers and music performed.

Historic Tour of Homes (PDF)
Charleston Symphony Orchestra League

The Charleston Symphony League redefined a long-running and highly successful fundraiser in the time of Covid to create a new event in historic Charleston!

Fine Arts Signing Day (PDF)
Huntsville Symphony Guild

Fine Arts Signing Day honored high school seniors who have chosen to pursue fine arts education at the college level and recognized the value of fine arts to society.

Autumn Allegro (PDF)
Richmond Symphony League

The Richmond Symphony League launched a successful Facebook Live Fundraiser including an online sales catalog, auction, music, and interviews.

Beat Beethoven 5K (PDF)
Charlotte Symphony Guild

Beat Beethoven 5k, a virtual race where participants try to beat Beethoven, built community and raised money with minimal cost and volunteer commitment.

2021 Spotlight Award Winners

Art Strings and Tambourines (PDF)
Illinois Symphony Orchestra Guild

Fall in Love with Music Chicago (PDF)
League of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association (CSOA)

KCSA Secret Art Auction (PDF)
Kansas City Symphony Alliance

Music in the Garden (PDF)
Eugene Symphony Guild

Messiah Sing-Along (PDF)
Santa Rosa Symphony League

Bach + Beer (PDF)
Omaha Symphony Council Bluffs Guild

Sippin’ with Symphony (PDF)
Quad City Symphony Orchestra (QCSO)

2021 Classic Award Winner

Kinder Konzerts in a Box-Bag (PDF)
Friends of the Minnesota Orchestra

Since 1978, the Kinder Konzerts program has introduced young children to orchestral music, orchestral musicians, and the orchestra hall. The creation of Covid-inspired “Kinder Konzerts in a Box” for schools and families and “Kinder Konzerts in a Bag” for public libraries allowed FRIENDS to reach audiences throughout their state and beyond.

2020 Award Projects

2020 Gold Award Winners

Lewis Elementary Violin Residency Program Expansion Project (PDF)
Houston Symphony League 

Houston Symphony League helped their symphony develop its music education initiative, a three-year string instruction program for students at an underserved elementary school, and then answered the call in the second year to help purchase 40 additional violins and support additional instruction time. 

2020 Stay at Home May Wine Brunch (PDF)
Women’s Association of Northwest Indiana Symphony Society (WANISS) 

The Women’s Assoc. of Northwest Indiana Symphony Society (WANISS) turned their long-running fundraiser into Stay@Home Wine Brunch and still had guests donning their hats – a signature of the in-person event.

Celebrating 40th Year of Kinder Konzerts (PDF)
FRIENDS of the Minnesota Orchestra 

To celebrate the 40th anniversary season of Kinder Konzerts, FRIENDS of the Minnesota Orchestra marked the milestone with a special concert that included a brand-new commissioned story piece by Minnesota composer Daniel Nass, who selected the story, One Dog Canoe. The premier, geared to preschoolers and kindergartners, included a variety of engaging themed, pre-and post-concert activities.

The Show (House) Must Go On! Fundraising in a Time of Pandemic 2020 (PDF)
Oklahoma City Orchestra League 

For the Oklahoma City Orchestra League, “The Show (House) Must Go On” was the rallying cry. An HGTV-style video, which could be purchased with an online ticket, included interviews with designers and a “reveal” of the house at the end to give viewers the sense they were special guests.

TABLE ART 2020-The Virtual Event (PDF)
Omaha Symphony Guild 

The Omaha Symphony Guild successfully re-imagined its 15th annual fundraising project – Table Art 2020 – as a virtual event featuring dining tables decorated with Waterford crystal and inspirational table displays from designers across the nation.

2020 Online All-Star Crescen-Dough Auction (PDF)
Huntsville Symphony Orchestra Guild

When other community events were postponed indefinitely or canceled due to the pandemic, the Huntsville Symphony Orchestra Guild decided to convert their Crescen-Dough auction, which was scheduled to take place in three weeks, into a fully online event. They did it without missing a beat or coming up short of their goal.

2020 Spotlight Award Winners

Concluding 32 Years of Parties of Note in 2020 (PDF)
Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra Volunteers

After 32 seasons, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra Volunteers are retiring Parties of Note, a series of events supporting the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and Cincinnati Pops. The end of one tradition will be the beginning of another as the CSO assesses how resources and efforts can be shifted to create change and improve the lives of all they serve. 

Firebird Symphony Ball 2019 (PDF)
Symphony League of Kansas City 

Exploring how to innovate and at the same time maintain many longstanding traditions, the Symphony League of Kansas City decided to hold its annual ball for the first time at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, the performance home of the Kansas City Symphony. The Firebird Ball was a showcase for the symphony’s talented musicians and created a very special experience for guests all while raising essential operating funds for the Kansas City Symphony. The theme complemented the orchestra’s playing of the Firebird Suite as part of the evening’s program.

Fundraising Pop-Ups (PDF)
Houston Symphony League

The Houston Symphony League used out-of-the-box thinking to come up with the concept of Pop-Ups, mini-fundraisers of unlimited variety and smaller in scale. It proved the perfect base to raise money and highlight the attributes of the League and the symphony – thus, becoming attractive to donors and new members alike.

CSO 125 Anniversary Timeline 2020 (PDF)
Cincinnati Symphony Volunteer Program 

As the CSO looked toward celebrating 125 years, they needed to review, organize, and find a way to exhibit its plethora of articles, photos, and historical information to show the history of the orchestra. Volunteers began a project to build an electronic timeline that would be available online from the orchestra’s website and launched during the anniversary weekend in January 2020. Their history is now available worldwide.

MSOL Connect 2020 (PDF)
Madison Symphony Orchestra League 

When the Madison Symphony Orchestra League could no longer meet in person due to the pandemic, they found a new way to stay engaged through MSOL Connect. The series of informative and educational programs related to music and involving musicians, staff, and musical experts from the community has provided a meaningful and relevant connection for members.

Designer House 2020 (PDF)
Arkansas Symphony Orchestra Guild

The home was designed and photographed and ready to open when the world shut down because of COVID-19. After debating on how to proceed or if to proceed at all, ASOG got creative. They offered the opportunity for guests to tour the home in the safety of their group and with all safety rules intact. They also created a safety walk tour through the house which proved to be successful the guests loved it.

2020 Classic Award Winner

Junior Symphony Ball 2020 (PDF)
Dallas Symphony League

The Dallas Symphony Orchestra League Junior Symphony Ball is a true classic!. Now in its 62nd year, the Junior Symphony Ball, with the tagline “Party with a Purpose,” was founded to introduce Dallas-area 10th-12th grade students to the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, and in turn, teach them about giving back to the community. 

2019 Award Projects

2019 Gold Award Winners

Lunch & Listening (PDF)
Amarillo Symphony Guild

Southern Savour Supper Club (PDF)
Dallas Symphony Orchestra League

e-News: Reaching Members in the Digital Age (PDF)
Madison Symphony Orchestra League 

A Change of Seasons for “The Four Seasons” 2019 Women’s Symphony League Ball (PDF)
Women’s Symphony League of Tyler 

Orchestrating Excellence Fundraising Luncheon (PDF)
Oklahoma City Orchestra League 

Utah Symphony Youth Guild (PDF)
Utah Symphony Orchestra 

2019 Spotlight Award Winners

Hollywood Happening (PDF)
Las Vegas Philharmonic Guild 

Behind the Scenes at Severance Hall Tour Guide Program (PDF)
Friends of The Cleveland Orchestra 

Bucket Brigade and Baubles and Bubbly for Beethoven (PDF)
LPO Volunteers 

“Follow the Music to Paris” May Wine Brunch (PDF)
Women’s Association of the Northwest Indiana Symphony Orchestra Society 

Volunteer Appreciation Party (PDF)
Madison Symphony Orchestra League 

35th 2nd Fiddle Sale (PDF)
Volunteers for Orchestra of the Quad City Symphony Orchestra 

Second Fiddle Shoppes (PDF)
Baltimore Symphony Associates 

2019 Classic Award Winner

Designers’ Showhouse 2019
Kansas City Symphony Alliance 

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