Volunteer Notes Fall 2010

The newsletter for Orchestra Volunteers

The Newsletter for
Symphony Orchestra Volunteers

Fall 2010

Greeting: Past President’s message

 

Beginning: President’s message

 

Remembering: Conference Wrap-up

 

Recognizing: GBO Awards

 

Returning: Roundtables

 

Educating: Webinar

 

Communicating: Touch Base Calls

 

Presenting: Project Profiles

Introducing: New Members

Hearing From You

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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.

 

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Gold Book Online -- The Resource for Volunteer Projects

 

Greeting: Past President’s message

Volunteer Council President Jane Van Dyk

Volunteer Council President Jane Van Dyk

The adjectives I would use to describe the 2009-10 year are amazing, exciting, surprising, and exhilarating.

At the outset of the year, the Volunteer Council leadership team met in New York with senior League staff to discuss the implications of cuts in both budget and staff. Our Leadership assured the League that we volunteers stood ready to roll up our sleeves and assist the League in any way possible to meet the challenging economic times.

We focused on top priorities and looked for every opportunity to streamline our operations. We shortened our meeting times in New York, saved money by meeting in Atlanta in October, merged two committees, cut issues of Volunteer Notes to four, transitioned from Regional Workshops to webinars, increased our contribution to the Annual Fund and came up with a new plan to raise funds through sponsorship opportunities for Conference.

These decisions resulted in some surprisingly beneficial changes. We enjoyed an expanded and enhanced relationship with the League, working collaboratively and successfully with talented staff members on many projects. At the same time, we experienced more of a sense of autonomy over our own activities, particularly when it came to planning volunteer sessions for Conference.

Jane Van Dyk
Past President

Beginning: President’s message

photo by Jeff Roffman

photo by Jeff Roffman

As you begin this new orchestral year, please take time to make use of the wealth of information and opportunities for League and Volunteer Council support that is just a click away. The Volunteer Council, 25 volunteer and community leaders from all size orchestras and from across America, with vast years of experience, are ready to share their knowledge with you.

We encourage you to visit the Volunteers section of americanorchestras.org for all volunteer-specific information.

Below is a listing of some of the support information, programs, and services for 2010-2011:

Please contact me with your requests and ideas that will most support and help your organization’s work and goals.

Heather Moore
President
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Remembering: Conference Wrap-up

Composer Jennifer Higdon; photo by Jeff Roffman

Composer Jennifer Higdon; photo by Jeff Roffman

A sincere thank you to the Volunteer Council and the League Staff for the success of the National Conference held in Atlanta, June 2010. Many delegates said it was the best ever, with professional, relevant, worthwhile, interactive, and fun sessions. One hundred and thirteen volunteers from across the country participated energetically and enthusiastically, with about one-third being first-time delegates.

Some highlights:

More than seventy-five delegates signed up for the new Dine-Arounds. They were warmly received and gave us an opportunity to meet conference delegates and network in a small group setting. It was a great way to begin Conference.

Effective Leaders – Effective Volunteer Organizations - a panel discussion with presidents of volunteer organizations, a marketing consultant, and the executive director of a major orchestra.

Featured guest speaker at the Volunteer Networking Pizza Party was composer Jennifer Higdon, the recent recipient of a Pulitzer Prize for composition.

League President and CEO, Jesse Rosen addressed a volunteer session on Emerging Issues for Orchestras.

Just like a jazz session, volunteers brought their own issues and jammed in small groups in the Emerging Issues for Volunteers session.

If you missed it, you really missed a wonderful few days of networking with kindred spirits in the volunteer world and the opportunity to bring home many creative new ideas. The good news is 2011 will even be better! The Volunteer Council team is in place and working hard to plan another blockbuster Conference. How can you be a part of these plans? Budget now and plan on bringing several of your volunteers to the National Conference in Minneapolis Monday June 6 through Thursday, June 9, 2011.

Helen Shaffer
Conference Chair 2010

Recognizing: GBO Awards

photo by Asher Kelman

photo by Asher Kelman

The League Conference in Atlanta was great! The Award of Excellence presentations were one of the highlights of the Conference. Eight exciting and outstanding projects were selected from submissions sent in from volunteer groups across the country. There were so many fabulous ideas that I can’t imagine anyone left the Awards session without at least one new idea to try! The awards are now online, so please be sure to go to goldbookonline.org to read about the winning projects.

We wouldn’t have an Awards program without your participation. Your project can become an important and helpful resource for all constituents. Please submit your projects as you complete them throughout the year. The submission form can be found at here. Click on Gold Book Preparation form and download. This is the form that you can fill in and can send around to others to be completed.

Terri McDowell
Gold Book Online Awards of Excellence Chair 2010

Returning: Roundtables

The return of the Roundtables at the League’s Conference in Atlanta 2010 was a smashing success. You can learn about these nine outstanding volunteer projects at goldbookonline.org.

The session included these volunteer projects plus a table where Volunteer Council members answered questions about using Gold Book Online to submit projects. Another first this year was a table informing delegates of the new Volunteer Council Webinars.

Dee Tenney
Roundtable Chair 2010

Educating: Webinar

photo by Asher Kelman

photo by Asher Kelman

The Volunteer Council is taking another step into the future with the beginning of a new web-based, online seminar format known as webinars. This is a way to bring information and advice to volunteers wherever they may be. To view the first fundraising webinar, click here.

Gather your board members or committee chairs for this learning experience. It costs $25 and is available to you at a time and place of your choosing. You may pay with a credit card or a check. After submitting your registration for the seminar simply go back to your email and the seminar will be there. The webinar has slides and sound, and lasts approximately 30 minutes, so watch and learn with a large group or by yourself in the comfort of your home. At the end of the seminar there are brainstorming questions.

This webinar is designed to cover the fundamentals of fundraising for symphony volunteer organizations regardless of budget size. Webinars on membership and leadership will be added during the year for your convenience.

Laura Hyde
Webinar Chair 2010

Communicating: Touch Base Calls

Personal shoppers – a luxury? They share their knowledge and expertise to help you in your busy life. Well, all symphony volunteer associations and their presidents could use someone to share their knowledge and expertise to help in their busy lives. So, this year the Volunteer Council members are offering their years of experience and leadership in the symphony volunteer world to help you and your organization. Touch Base Calls put you and a volunteer council member together to talk or email regarding the challenges facing your organization, how to find new ideas for projects, the inside track on Conference, and much more.

To get your personal consultant, email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and your personal consultant VC member will send you an email to get started.

Charlene Morse
Touch Base Calls Chair 2010

Presenting: Project Profiles

When you need a fresh idea, when you need a helping hand, try Gold Book Online for ideas to make your own. Right now, GBO has four years of archives posted. Using the search engine, select a year and see what marvelous ideas pop up.

I looked for Derby or racing themed fund-raisers and came up with four from orchestras of different sizes. Check out “Derby Day Run for the Roses” by the Friends of the Symphony Orchestra in Brazos Valley Texas. A similar idea fit the larger Dallas Symphony Orchestra League who produced the Wells Fargo Dallas Symphony Derby. And the Women’s Committee of the National Symphony (Washington, D.C.) hosted An Evening at the Races. In a slightly different approach, Omaha altered their traditional Designer Showhouse by making it a Designer Derby and Home Tour, with great financial success. Note how these diverse groups took a similar concept and adapted it to their environment and needs.

The bottom line: use Gold Book Online for creative concepts and innovative ways to enliven the tried and true. It takes your time, your energy, and your dedication but the results will reap benefits for your orchestra and could win your association an Award of Excellence when you submit to Gold Book Online.

Judy Christl
Awards Committee 2010

Introducing: New Members

Three new members will be welcomed to the Volunteer Council at our October meeting.

Linda Weisbruch is a member of The Symphony Guild of Charlotte, North Carolina, and has held many offices in that organization, including member of the board of directors, chairman for enrichment endowment, treasurer, and president. She has also volunteered as treasurer and corresponding chairman of The Friends of the Opera, member of the Board of Directors for the Duke Mansion and The Friends of Music at Queens College. Linda grew up in New York, where the diversity of cultural opportunities fostered a love of classical music in all forms: symphonic, chamber, and operatic. She is married to Craig Weisbruch.

Sherry Poulson is a member of the Utah Symphony Guild, of which she is past president. She has also been social vice president and chaired many events. During her Guild presidency, Sherry purchased an $88,000 Steinway concert grand piano for the Symphony’s concert hall by selling “keys” for $1,000 each. Commemorative “thank you” keys were given to each donor, with each key signed by concert pianist Grant Johannsen and Mr. Steinway. Sherry is also active on boards for two universities in Salt Lake City. She is married to Larry Poulson and has three children and nine grandchildren.

Jane Schwartz is a member of the Augusta (GA) Symphony Guild. She is past president of the Guild, serves on the Augusta Symphony Board of Directors and is a Trustee for the Augusta Symphony Endowment. Jane served as president of the Guild as they celebrated their 50th anniversary. She was sponsorship chairman for their most successful fundraising project, Paula Dean. As a former actuary, she has a good understanding of finances, and always serves as treasurer for the organizations of which she is a member. Her other community organizations include Historic Augusta, Interfaith Hospitality Network, Richmond County Medical Society Auxiliary, and PTA. Jane and her husband, Paul, have one son, and a daughter who is newly married.

We look forward to getting to know our new members and making them working partners on the Volunteer Council.

Hearing From You

At the National Conference in Atlanta, we began a dialogue with our volunteer delegates. With your participation, we would like to continue the dialogue. In this issue of Volunteer Notes, you have read of the many ways in which the Volunteer Council can help your organization succeed. Please take advantage of these ideas, and also communicate with us. We want your questions, comments and suggestions. Please let us hear from you!

Sandra Weingarten
Volunteer Notes Editor 2010
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