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Volunteer Notes - Spring 2017

President's Message 

The League of American Orchestras’ 72nd National Conference, in Detroit, is only a couple of months away. We look forward to seeing you on June 5-8, 2017*! The Volunteer Council has been diligently working on the programs for the Volunteer Constituency and we are offering countless resolutions to questions volunteer leaders from all over the country are asking. This Conference will provide worthwhile interactive sessions to address the many celebrations and concerns that volunteer organizations are currently dealing with, and we guarantee to provide some laughs along the way.

Volunteer Week is April 23-29, 2017. This week celebrates those volunteers who give generously of their time and resources through service. I want to thank all the League volunteers for your hours of service to make music an integral part of your community.

My year as the Volunteer Council President ends shortly after Conference. It has been an honor to serve as President of the Volunteer Council this year. I have had the privilege to work with some extraordinary individuals on the Volunteer Council who are committed to making a difference in their community and ensuring that symphonic music continues to be a part of our lives. The League staff has been supportive and a great resource and I want to thank Caitlin Whealon, Samara Ungar, and Jesse Rosen for their support in the six years I have been on the Volunteer Council.

See you in Detroit on June 5th!

Debbie McKinney
Volunteer Council President
Oklahoma City Orchestra League

*Please note that although the actual Conference runs June 6-8, volunteer activities begin the evening of June 5.

Detroit Rising/Transformation in American Orchestras
League of American Orchestras’ National Conference, June 5-8, 2017
From VC Conference Chair: Tiffany Ammerman

“Orchestras are in the throes of a great transformation: from what they are to who they are for. They are redefining their purpose to align with the new creative and civic opportunities arising from the profound changes in American society. Against the backdrop of Detroit’s remarkable transformation and the rapidly changing public policy landscape in America, the Conference will explore the role of orchestras in our increasingly diverse society, the nexus of creativity and community, and the culture of orchestras themselves.” (League of American Orchestras’ Conference website)

The League is working hard to ensure everyone has an opportunity to attend the 72nd Annual Conference in Detroit (June 5-8, 2017) by introducing a new group rate. Groups of three or more volunteers and/or board members from member orchestras will receive a discounted registration rate of $495.00 per person (reg. $650.00). For example, one volunteer from Minnesota, one volunteer from California, and a board member from Maine can register together to receive the discount. If you wish to register a group of three or more, please contact the League’s Member Services department at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 646 822 4010.

The League is also offering a first time attendee rate of $495.00. The full registration fee is $650.00 for individuals who have attended conference and do not group. Please make sure you do not miss the April 28 early bird registration deadline or the price will increase to $785.00 for all attendees.

Remember that volunteers whose orchestra is a member of the League are considered members. Please contact Member Services if you need to find out if your orchestra is a League member.

A summary of Conference information for volunteers is included below in the Volunteer Track Conference Overview.*



Don’t miss this video from our Conference host, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra


Volunteer Track Conference Overview
Linda Stevens
Conference Overview:

League of American Orchestras National Conference
June 5-8, 2017 | Detroit, MI
Detroit Marriott Renaissance Center

Conference Fees – Early-bird Ends April 28

First Time Attendee                             

$495 – Volunteers who have not attended Conference                    

Group Rate (3 +)

$495 – Three or more volunteers and/or board members from member orchestras

Full Registration

$650 – individuals who have attended Conference and don’t group

Full Registration

$785 – after April 28 for all attendees


Remember, volunteers whose orchestra is a member of the League are considered members. One of the categories above should cover most volunteers. If you have questions about registration or wish to register a group of three or more, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 646 822 4010.

Registration: americanorchestras.org/conference2017/registration

League of American Orchestras Conference — Why Detroit?

Detroit is an exciting city on the rise, with neighborhood revitalization, substantial economic development, a new light rail, and a resurgent creative community. Be sure to view the video from the Detroit Symphony Orchestra mentioned in the article above.

Travel Advice:

  • Arrive Monday, June 5 in time to attend the Gold Book Awards Reception (invitation-only), and/or the Wine and Dine, starting at 6:30pm
  • Delta Airlines special discount — select flight and enter meeting code NMPUL in box provided
  • Conference Hotel — Approximately $185 + fees and taxesThe League’s National Conference will be held at the Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center. The Renaissance Center is located on Jefferson Avenue in downtown Detroit. Parking is available in nearby garages from $15-25 per day.
    • Book online during registration. Consider sharing a room with a colleague to cut expenses.
    • Call direct 313 568 8000; ask for “League of American Orchestras’ group rate”
    • Deadline for hotel reservations is May 13
Conference Highlights: Sign up during registration for dinners, symphony and electives; additional details follow.
  • Monday, June 5 — Pre-Conference volunteer activities taking place include:Tuesday, June 6-Thursday, June 8 — Volunteer Track sessions which include Gold Book Award-winning projects and Roundtable discussions

    • Gold Book Awards Reception, 5:00pm-6:00pm, by invitation, hosted by Volunteer Council

    • Wine and Dine at Andiamo restaurant, 6:30pm-10:30pm, $52 pre-paid, must sign up during registration

    • The restaurant is located on the ground floor in the Conference hotel at a beautiful waterfront location

  • Tuesday, June 6 — Volunteer Networking Lunch and Panel, 12:30pm-1:15pm, $45 pre-paid, must sign up during registration

  • Tuesday, June 6 — Opening Session at Orchestra Hall

  • Tuesday, June 6 — Detroit Symphony Orchestra performance, 7:30pmElectives (Tues-Thurs) — sessions are included in registration and are attended by orchestra staff, trustees and volunteers

    • Volunteer Council recommends purchasing tickets in the Dress Circle, $50

    • Leonard Slatkin will conduct the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, the 4th oldest orchestra in the United States, at Orchestra Hall.

    • The evening’s program will feature the Brecht/Weill Seven Deadly Sins and three exciting contemporary works, plus a special performance by the Detroit Symphony Youth Orchestra.

Roundtables – What are They and How Do They Work?
Carol Lou Yaeger
Announcing the 2017 Roundtable Award Winners!
Carol Lou Yaeger

This year, ten volunteer projects have been selected from around the country for presentation in Roundtable format during Conference in Detroit. In addition, the Volunteer Council will have a Roundtable sharing on-line resources for volunteers. Innovation, volunteer involvement, return on investment, and impact are the primary criteria the Volunteer Council uses to evaluate volunteer projects that are submitted to the League's volunteer project website each year: goldbookonline.org

Take a moment to enjoy a thumbnail sketch of each, and see what awaits you in Detroit from these award-winning projects, listed below alphabetically by symphony:

Amarillo Symphony Guild, TX
Belles and Beaux Team App: The TEAM App is a technology platform that allows team and/or
social groups to improve communications by allowing the information to be directly in the hands of volunteers and their guardians through their cellphones and computers.
Women's Symphony League of Austin, TX
Children's Day Art Park: The community outreach is fun for all generations! Every Wednesday morning in June and July, mimes, magicians, and musicians entertain thousands of children at the Austin Symphony Orchestra’s Children’s Day Art Park at Symphony Square. Visit the instrument petting zoo, listen to stories under the Magic Oak Tree, or try your hand at a special project in the Art Tent. At Children’s Day Art Park art appreciation happens naturally.
Women's Committee of the Cleveland Orchestra, OH
Cleveland Orchestra Music Study Groups: Learn ways to generate interest in the concert season; build/retain loyal, informed audiences; and raise the orchestra’s profile in the community!  Cleveland Orchestra Music Study Groups for adults have been meeting throughout Greater Cleveland since 1921 to do just that!

Detroit Symphony Orchestra Volunteer Council, MI
Nutcracker Luncheon: Eat, Shop, Join: This elegant, time-honored luncheon and holiday boutique offer fabulous shopping, a student Nutcracker ballet, a delicious lunch, student vocalists, a raffle, and a local radio personality emcee.

Houston Symphony League, TX
Making Friendships for a Lifetime: The strongest volunteer organizations are a source of friendships, camaraderie, and personal enrichment; create activities aligned with members’ interests or pastimes, such as a book club for music lovers; and offer a new prism through which they can explore music. 

Kansas City Symphony Alliance, MO
47th Symphony Designers’ Showhouse: Just as Kansas City’s world-class symphony does on a continuing basis, the Alliance reached out to their Kansas City youth. Embracing change to the 47th consecutive year project ensures the future of the project. Learn this new twist as they reinvent and grease the old but fruitful wheel.

Kansas City Symphony Alliance, MO
Rising Symphony Stars: This project used a unique way to showcase and introduce the community to talented young artists between the ages of 13-18 who aspire to be future symphony musicians. It raised money, as well. The winner, selected from the finalists of the annual Young Artist Competition, performed at Rising Symphony Stars, and other finalists past and present were selected to perform with the Kansas City Symphony, showcasing the symphony and the Rising Symphony Stars.

Las Vegas Philharmonic Guild, NV
Light Up the Night with Liberace: Legend Liberace lived and performed in Vegas, so it was natural to attempt a coordinated event with the Liberace Foundation and Opera Las Vegas. Held at the famous Michael Jackson Mansion, it featured tours and music by renowned pianist, Les Winters.

Women's Association of Northwest Indiana Symphony Society, IN
27th Annual Festival of Trees: Combine vendors, wassail, lunch, decorated trees from local businesses and nonprofits, both youth and community groups, along with some great holiday music, and what do you have but the 27th Annual Festive of Trees. Learn ways to engage the community by drawing the community together to kick off the holiday season along with raising money for your lovely orchestra!

Friends of Music Guild – Orchestra of Southern Utah
Community Recitals Benefit Musicians & Community: Community recitals engage non-orchestra musicians, give orchestra musicians solo and ensemble opportunities, fill a cultural slow period in the fall before other programming takes stage, and build a loyal patron base.

Volunteer Council of the League of American Orchestras
The Volunteer Council will share information about all the online resources for volunteers – great information to help you get the job of raising money for your symphony done more efficiently and more effectively!


One day’s wealth of Roundtable Award Winning projects and their presenters
Baltimore, 2016

Wine and Dine, Italian Style!
Tresa Radermacher

Fabulous, authentic, northern Italian cuisine makes Andiamo Detroit Riverfront the "must-see" restaurant located in the heart of Detroit. The scene inside is inviting, sophisticated and urban chic, seducing your senses like no other downtown establishment can. The uncompromising cuisine is authentic, artistic and world-class.

You're invited and encouraged to register for the Volunteer Dine-Around on Monday, June 5 at the Andiamo Detroit Riverfront restaurant at our Conference hotel location. Come enjoy a wine tasting of three Italian wines at 6:30 p.m. Dinner follows with a choice of either chicken marsala or pasta primavera accompanied by the vegetable of the day, house salad, and cannoli for dessert with coffee, tea and soda – all included for $52.00. A cash bar is available to enjoy another glass or two of Italian wine. What a great opportunity to network with other volunteers from across the nation while enjoying the view of the Detroit Riverfront and the Canadian border. Hope to see you on June 5 in Detroit.

2017 Conference Networking Luncheon
Cindy Kidwell

At every volunteer session, the League’s National Conference in Detroit will offer numerous opportunities to network with fellow volunteers from across the United States. Among the specially planned activities is a Networking Luncheon on Tuesday. You won’t want to miss this opportunity to connect with other volunteers!

Following a three-course meal and focused table conversation led by Volunteer Council members, participants will hear a panel presentation from nonprofit leaders in the Detroit area.

Topics will cover best practice ideas for:

          • attracting volunteers
          • helping new volunteers to feel connected to the organization
          • identifying and grooming emerging leaders
          • making leadership roles more attractive to volunteers
          • launching leadership teams at the beginning of a new fiscal year
          • encouraging and recognizing volunteer accomplishments, and so much more!

To register for the Networking Luncheon, go to the League’s conference registration website. The cost is $45.00.


Don’t miss out on this wonderful networking opportunity and luncheon with your peers from around the country.

Dining, discussion, and discovering great new friends!

The Volunteer Council of the League of American Orchestras

The Volunteer Council consists of volunteers from all over the country who work throughout the year to plan informative and exciting sessions for volunteers like you. A unique track for volunteers will be available when you register for the League of American Orchestras’ 2017 Conference. We look forward to seeing you!


Your Volunteer Council works to bring together the best ideas, best projects, and best practices from volunteers around the country to share with you at Conference.

First row, seated, left to right:
Linda Weisbruch, Charlotte Symphony, NC, Immediate Past President
Becky Odland, Minnesota Orchestra, MN, President-Elect
Debbie McKinney, Oklahoma City Philharmonic, OK, President
Tiffany Ammerman, Marshall Symphony, TX, Conference Chair, 2017
Camille Williams, Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, AR, Conference Chair-Elect 

Second row, left to right:
Tresa Radermacher, Northwest Indiana Symphony Orchestra, IN
Iris Harvie, Cleveland, Orchestra, OH
Julie Meredith, Utah Symphony, UT
Carol Lou Yaeger, Charleston Symphony Orchestra, SC
Sharon Hatchett, Chicago Sinfonietta, IL 

Third row, left to right:
Ginny Lundquist, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, MI
Linda Stevens, Kansas City Symphony, MO
Beth Wise, Huntsville Symphony Orchestra, AL
Terry Ann White, Amarillo Symphony, TX
Cindy Kidwell, East Texas Symphony Orchestra,TX 

Not pictured:
Sally Bullard, Philadelphia Orchestra, PA, AMSOV Liaison