Volunteer Notes Fall 2011

 

The Newsletter for
Symphony Orchestra Volunteers

Fall 2011

Greeting: President's Message

Help Us Serve You Better

Mentoring: Multiple Options Available

Planning: Save the Date for Conference in Dallas, June 5-8, 2012!

Learning: Recruiting Your Next Generation of Volunteers Part II

Communicating: Let Us Hear 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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Greeting: President's Message

Chuck Cagle, Volunteer Council President

Chuck Cagle, Volunteer Council President

“I don’t know what your destiny will be, but one thing I know: The only ones among you who will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve.” -Albert Schweitzer

Welcome to the 2011-2012 orchestra year for volunteers! It is a profound honor for me to serve this year as president of the Volunteer Council of the League of American Orchestras. Additionally, it is a distinct privilege for me to represent the Nashville Symphony Orchestra and the Nashville Symphony Orchestra League in these endeavors.

This year’s theme for me will be the recognition of the service of volunteers. I have spent my time in service both to my home orchestra and to the orchestra organizations in which I participate gaining a renewed appreciation for the countless hours of service rendered by orchestra volunteers nationwide. This service ranges from performing menial tasks to raising millions of dollars to support orchestra operations. In addition, labor performed by volunteers has saved orchestras hundreds of thousands of dollars in personnel costs because the services donated would otherwise have to be performed by paid employees. From concert hall docents to fundraisers; from housing and feeding orchestra members to supporting and providing quality educational programs for communities and school children, the volunteers do their part to keep the music alive.

The state I represent has a particular affinity for volunteers. In 1898, a call was sent out by the President of the United States declaring the need for soldiers to quell an uprising by the Spanish in Guam, Cuba, and the Philippines. Middle and East Tennessee provided four regiments, nearly 4,000 men, for the effort. On May 8, 1898 the New York Times lauded the “volunteer spirit” exhibited by this state for the war effort. That reputation lives to this day because, after the war, Tennessee’s official nickname became “The Volunteer State.”

Volunteering is not, and has never been a spectator sport. It requires energy, time, and commitment. My goal this year is to celebrate the contributions made by volunteers and volunteer groups to orchestras across the nation.

Chuck Cagle

Volunteer Council President

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. .

Mentoring: Multiple Options Available

The Volunteer Council has long been committed to providing all types of resources to help meet the current and future needs of volunteer associations in support of their orchestras. Volunteer Council Sustainers are available just for the asking, to mentor groups on a one-to-one basis. If a volunteer group has just been established or is going through a particularly difficult period, then this free mentoring service may be just the resource to help the group succeed. Sustainer Liaison to the Volunteer Council Marylou Turner is chair of this mentoring program. For more information, contact her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Also, in November, a new session of Mentoring Circles, designed specifically for new volunteer association presidents and presidents-elect, will begin. This series of six monthly, 90-minute discussions will take place via telephone, and is an opportunity for participants to connect with others who have the same questions and are facing similar situations. Co-facilitated by Heather Moore, past president, Association of Major Symphony Orchestra Volunteers (AMSOV) and past president of the Volunteer Council of the League and Helen Shaffer, current president, AMSOV and president–elect of the Volunteer Council, this guided peer-to-peer learning offers networking, sharing, and personal insight from two experienced volunteer presidents.

Here’s what a past participant says about their Mentoring Circle: “The size of the Mentoring Circle makes it easy for everyone to participate in the discussions, yet still learn from others and their experiences…the scope of topics covered was amazing. Topics were timely, useful, and covered a broad range of issues. I wouldn’t change anything.”

For more information or to register for this Mentoring Circle by November 3, please click here.

Please contact Samara Ungar at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 646 822 4083, if you have any questions.

Planning: Save the Date for Conference in Dallas, June 5-8, 2012!

Meyerson Symphony Center

Meyerson Symphony Center

They say everything is bigger in Texas, and the League of American Orchestras’ 2012 National Conference in Dallas, June 5 -8, 2012 is no exception!

Volunteers will experience extensive networking opportunities, leadership development sessions, and presentations from the Awards of Excellence and Roundtable award winners representing volunteer organizations across North America. Already on the schedule are two symphony concerts that will take place in the Meyerson Symphony Center, which is just a short walk from the Conference hotel. The performance by the Dallas Symphony Orchestra will take place Wednesday, June 6, and will be followed by the Tune-Up Party. On Thursday evening, June 7, Conference attendees will be treated to a performance by the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra.

The Conference hotel will be the newly renovated Sheraton Downtown Dallas. From the Sheraton, it is easy to enjoy the entire Dallas Arts District (dallasartsdistrict.org) or walk to the original flagship Neiman-Marcus store for a little shopping during free time. Dining options in the area abound, from the fine dining establishments of nationally-recognized chefs to eclectic, casual eating establishments.

Now is the time to make sure you and your league are budgeting to attend this upcoming Conference. Online registration and hotel reservations will be open in February 2012. It is not too early to start making your plans today for this exciting and rewarding National Conference! And please be sure that Conference is on the radar screen of your orchestra staff and board.

Learning: Recruiting Your Next Generation of Volunteers Part II

Sandra Weingarten

Sandra Weingarten

One of the most consistent challenges facing volunteer organizations is attracting and retaining volunteers who are willing to work to support their orchestras. Now help is here! The Volunteer Council of the League of American Orchestras has designed a webinar to provide you with the tools to tackle this problem head on. In Recruiting Your Next Generation of Volunteers Part II, you will learn how to organize a membership committee and hear examples of best practices for involving and retaining volunteers.

Facilitated by Sandra Weingarten, a former member of the League of American Orchestras’ Volunteer Council, and a past president of the Eugene Symphony Guild in Oregon, this webinar is offered free to League members and available on-demand. You can view this webinar now by clicking here.

After you have viewed this webinar, please take a few minutes to share your impressions of this webinar by filling out an evaluation form here. Should you have any additional questions or comments, please feel welcome to send them to Samara Ungar at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and she will respond to you shortly. Thank you and we hope you enjoyed this webinar experience!

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!

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