Volunteer Notes Spring 2011

The Newsletter for
Symphony Orchestra Volunteers

Spring 2011

Greeting: A Message from the President

 

Attending Conference: The Top Ten Reasons

 

Meeting, Eating, and Sharing: Conference Dine-Arounds and Networking

 

Announcing “The Best of the Best”: 2011 Gold Book Awards of Excellence

 

Learning in the Round: Volunteer Roundtable Presentations

Educating: Special Volunteer Sessions at Conference

 

Mentoring: Available for the Asking

 

Continuing Education: Membership Webinar

Looking for a Few Special Volunteers: Nominations for Volunteer Council

Send Photos of Your Volunteers in Action

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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.

 

Contact Volunteer Council

Need a Mentor? Volunteer Sustainers Can Help

Let's Talk! Volunteer Discussion Groups

Gold Book Online -- The Resource for Volunteer Projects

 

Greeting: A Message from the President

Heather Moore, Volunteer Council President

Heather Moore, Volunteer Council President

For orchestra volunteers, the League’s National Conference in the Twin Cities is the place to be June 6-9, 2011. The Twin Cities area is recognized as the national leader in “supercitizenship”—volunteerism that is actively helping build and shape a more vibrant community. What could be a more perfect location for our volunteer-friendly and volunteer-relevant sessions? Registration for Conference is now available online at http://www.americanorchestras.org/conference_2011. Please take time to read the My Conference section for volunteers—just click here. This is a detailed synopsis of the volunteer track and an at-a-glance look at the valuable information that you will be able to take away and share with your organization.

You will note, we have responded to requests from the field and designed a special session specifically for incoming presidents and president-elects. This session will take place Monday afternoon, and is included in the registration fee. This panel will be presented by the leadership of the League’s Volunteer Council. Heather Moore, president; Chuck Cagle, president-elect; and Helen Shaffer, president-elect designate, will focus on topics that new presidents and president-elects find most valuable—everything from board structure to ensuring profitable events. You will be able to ask questions of the panel and get personalized advice from them and other experts attending the session.

Please take time to peruse the Conference information below and plan to join us in Minneapolis!

Heather Moore
Volunteer Council President

Attending Conference: The Top Ten Reasons

There are so many reasons volunteers should attend the League Conference in the Twin Cities, June 6-9, 2011, they cannot all be listed here. But, to steal an idea from late night television, here are the Volunteer Council’s Top Ten Reasons You Should Attend the 2011 League Conference:

#10 Minneapolis is a great place to be in June, with all sorts of wonderful sights to see and the largest mall in the United States only 40 minutes from downtown via light rail.

#9 There will be concerts by two world-class symphony orchestras – the Minnesota Orchestra and The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra.

#8 The League’s skill-building toolbox sessions, big-picture perspectives sessions, and general sessions on topics from innovation to orchestras on the airwaves will be open to all attendees.

#7 Fun, volunteer “Dine-Around” dinners are taking place on two evenings.

#6 Volunteer Council experts will share invaluable insights in leadership sessions.

#5 Award of Excellence winners will present the most outstanding projects submitted to Gold Book Online this year.

#4 18 volunteer roundtable presentations will offer all manner of project ideas.

#3 Many speakers and panelists will discuss topics relevant to the orchestra volunteer experience.

#2 There will be lots of occasions for face-to-face networking and sharing ideas and best practices.

And the #1 reason to attend the League’s 2011 National Conference in the Twin Cities is:
You personally, your volunteer organization, and your orchestra will benefit from all you bring home from this Conference!

Just go to americanorchestras.org/conference_2011 to register today!

Meeting, Eating, and Sharing: Conference Dine-Arounds and Networking

The most exciting place to eat in Minneapolis, Monday evening, June 6, will be with other volunteers at the Dine-Arounds. Participants in this optional Dutch-treat dining experience will be able to do small-group informal networking as they enjoy a great meal. The restaurants will all be within walking distance of the Conference hotel, there will be two dining times available, 6:30 and 7:00 pm, and everyone will have the opportunity to choose their cuisine of preference.

The Dine-Arounds were so popular at last year’s Conference, we’re also doing them on Tuesday evening, June 7, preceding the Minnesota Orchestra Concert. To ensure that everyone will have ample time to get to the concert, this second round will offer dining times of 5:30 and 6:00 pm.

While the Dine-Arounds are one of numerous occasions for informal networking at Conference, there is also a formal Networking Luncheon for volunteers on Tuesday. All networking at this event will concentrate on what is a “hot topic” right now for all volunteer groups: membership. This across-the-board discussion will cover all aspects of member recruitment, retention, and integration. Wrapping up this invigorating session will be speaker Becky Roloff, chief executive officer of the YWCA of Minneapolis. The Networking Luncheon requires a reservation and a small charge of $15.

Reservations for all these dining and networking opportunities are included on the Conference registration form.

Announcing “The Best of the Best”: 2011 Gold Book Awards of Excellence

Each year, the Volunteer Council evaluates all the projects entered at their website, goldbookonline.org, and this year, the Council has chosen seven organizations to receive the 2011 Gold Book Award of Excellence at Conference. Each organization will also do a PowerPoint presentation of their project for the volunteer attendees on Wednesday, June 8. The presentations will be followed by a question and answer session. Congratulations to these fine organizations and their outstanding projects!

♫ The Dallas Symphony League has been chosen for their Music Memory program which gets students excited about classical music and motivated to learn and listen more.

♫ The Friends of the Symphony from the Symphony Orchestra of Augusta, Georgia, will be presenting Outreach Collages: Creative Arts Camps. This program is designed to take the joy of music and the arts straight to children who benefit the most.

♫ The Kansas City Symphony Alliance will show how to breathe new life into an existing project and successfully broaden your target audience with their 41st Kansas City Symphony Alliance Designers’ Showhouse presentation.

♫ 2009 Symphony Ball – The Golden Ball Celebrating 50 Years will be presented by the Jackson Symphony League in Mississippi. You will learn how they hosted a glittering tribute to a grand tradition in their community while conducting the largest fundraiser for their orchestra.

♫ The Oklahoma City Orchestra League will present a unique program where Oklahoma City discovered the power of music training. This program targeted adults with little or no previous music training who have now formed a powerful advocate for classical music with The Society of Strings.

♫ The West Virginia Symphony League paired local celebrities and professional instructors to raise big funds for the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra through their Dancing with the Stars project.

♫ The Fanfare Group of the Santa Fe Symphony Orchestra and Chorus will receive special recognition for their program called We Are the Music. This project produced a DVD which covered 700 years of Santa Fe history through the music and dance of its many cultures. This DVD is now part of the music and social studies curricula in over 85 classrooms.

Learning in the Round: Volunteer Roundtable Presentations

Touted as one of the most valuable experiences for volunteers at Conference are the Volunteer Roundtables. During two separate sessions this year, volunteers will be able to choose from 18 presentations, where they will gather in small groups at tables and hear about, then discuss outstanding projects with their presenters. Whether you are looking for a piece of an idea or a whole new concept to try, all the projects selected for Roundtables bring interesting and innovative ideas to life. All Volunteer Roundtables will take place on Tuesday, June 7.

The morning session will feature a variety of projects that focus on several areas: education, service, leadership/ organizational structure, and membership. Included in this session will also be a special roundtable featuring the Volunteer Council’s new webinar, Recruiting Your Next Generation of Volunteers. Other topics and their presenting organizations for this session include:

Open Rehearsals (Dallas Symphony Orchestra League)
Music Matters (Houston Symphony League)
Sub Deb Ball (Jackson Symphony League in Mississippi)
Texas Guitar Quartet: A Unique Collaboration (Women’s Symphony League of Tyler, TX)
Beethoven Lives Upstairs (Women’s Symphony League of Tyler, TX)
Accent-Music Appreciation for Adults (WAMSO – Minnesota Orchestra Volunteers in Minneapolis, MN)
Creation of a Position (WAMSO – Minnesota Orchestra Volunteers in Minneapolis, MN)

Tuesday afternoon, all volunteer Roundtables will focus on fundraising. Included with this group of Roundtables will be a special table staffed by Volunteer Council members, that will have information on the League’s Gold Book Online. The fundraising projects and their presenting organizations are:

Baubles, Bangles and Beads (Chattanooga Symphony and Opera Guild)
Hot Latin Nights Cabaret (Kansas City Symphony Guild in Kansas)
Nutcracker Gala/Tree Walk/ Holiday Boutique (The Naples Philharmonic League)
Junior Symphony Ball (Dallas Symphony Orchestra League)
Vintage Treasures (Women’s Symphony League of Tyler, TX)
Children’s Fashion Show (Houston Symphony League)
On Stage! Starry Starry Night Symphony Ball (Indianapolis Symphony Association)
2009 Symphony Showhouse – Hillrock Manor (Waco Symphony Council)
Table Art 2010 – Annieglass (Omaha Symphony Guild)

Educating: Special Volunteer Sessions at Conference

Becky Roloff, chief executive officer, YWCA of Minneapolis, will be the Volunteer Networking Luncheon keynote speaker at this year's League Conference.

Becky Roloff, chief executive officer, YWCA of Minneapolis, will be the Volunteer Networking Luncheon keynote speaker at this year's League Conference.

Besides overseeing projects, symphony volunteer leadership has many other facets. It requires directing eager volunteers, being aware of local orchestra issues, and conducting other important business. Several special volunteer track sessions at this year’s Conference address these issues.

Volunteer Leadership Can Be Child’s Play: This highly interactive, fun session, based in part on the popular book, Toy Box Leadership, will focus on essential leadership skills as volunteers learn about leadership styles from the toys of their childhood.

Serving Your Orchestra and Engaging Your Community: This moderated panel discussion will highlight a variety of examples of ways in which we can all engage and support our orchestras and communities.

Making an Ask: If you want to improve your ability to ask for money, ask volunteers to take on challenging projects, or ask for bigger and better auction items, this session is for you. You will learn the skills we all need and will be able to practice in role plays drawn from real orchestra volunteer situations.

Mentoring: Available for the Asking

The Volunteer Council offers a mentoring opportunity for volunteer organizations. Is your organization facing new and continuing challenges? A mentor can be assigned to work with your president and board members. Mentors are highly experienced volunteers who have served as presidents of their local organizations and have spent up to seven years on the Volunteer Council. Mentors can help with board development, job descriptions, volunteer/staff relations, fundraising, membership, education projects, group dynamics, and more. For more information, please contact Marylou Turner at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Lois Margolin at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Continuing Education: Membership Webinar

What is one of the biggest challenges facing any volunteer organization? Finding new members! The Volunteer Council will soon release a new webinar, Recruiting Your Next Generation of Volunteers. In this webinar, you will get ideas about who your new members are, where to look for them, and how to invite them to be part of your organization. You will get insights into two growing groups of potential volunteers—the younger generation that has grown up with technology and the Baby-Boomers who are retiring and looking for worthwhile activities. By using the ideas in this webinar, your organization can gain ideas to structure a membership committee and conduct a membership campaign.

This webinar will be previewed during the morning session of Volunteer Roundtables at Conference on June 7, and will also be available on the League’s website, americanorchestras.org, in the section on learning and leadership development. The webinar is free to members of the League.

Plan to get your Board together, or your membership committee if you have one, view and listen to the webinar and start a discussion. Good luck with your membership campaign!

Looking for a Few Special Volunteers: Nominations for Volunteer Council

The Volunteer Council of the League of American Orchestras is conducting a national search for candidates to serve on the Council. We are asking your help in identifying community leaders who have demonstrated outstanding support for their orchestra and invite you to nominate them to fill these important positions. Appropriate candidates have often been long-time volunteers with their symphony organization or past-presidents, as well as serving in several positions with the volunteer organization.

The Council partners with League staff to accomplish its work. The Council is responsible for contacting local volunteer associations and programming volunteer sessions at the League’s National Conference. They also provide many resources such as the online newsletter, Volunteer Notes, an email discussion group for volunteers, and Gold Book Online. One of the organizations major roles is also to encourage an active role in local, state, and national arts advocacy.

The Volunteer Council meets in the fall and winter each year, and in June as part of the League’s National Conference. In addition, committee work is done throughout the year via telephone calls, e-mail, and faxes. Volunteer Council members pay their own expenses for all meetings. Expenses include transportation, lodging, meals, and taxi fares. All Volunteer Council members make a contribution to the League’s Annual Fund each year.

Members are elected for a term of two years and are eligible for re-election for two additional two-year terms. To ensure continuity and leadership succession, members are encouraged to serve a full six-year term.

Nomination forms are available on the League here.

Send Photos of Your Volunteers in Action

The League’s Volunteer Council is looking for photos of your organization in action. Please send any photos to share to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Photos should be JPG or GIF format, and high resolution. Please also include photo credits with each submission.

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