Greeting: A Message from the
Volunteer Council President
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!
Volunteer Council President
Attending Conference: The
Top Ten Reasons
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:
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.
There will be concerts by two world-class symphony orchestras – the
Minnesota Orchestra and The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra.
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.
Fun, volunteer “Dine-Around” dinners are taking place on two evenings.
Volunteer Council experts will share invaluable insights in leadership
Award of Excellence winners will present the most outstanding projects
submitted to Gold Book Online this year.
18 volunteer roundtable presentations will offer all manner of project
Many speakers and panelists will discuss topics relevant to the orchestra
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
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
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
year, the Volunteer Council evaluates all the projects entered at their
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!
â« 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.
â« 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.
â« 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.
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.
â« 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
â« 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.
â« 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
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
• Beethoven Lives
Upstairs (Women’s Symphony League of Tyler, TX)
Appreciation for Adults (WAMSO – Minnesota Orchestra
Volunteers in Minneapolis, MN)
• Creation of a
Position (WAMSO – Minnesota Orchestra Volunteers in
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
• Baubles, Bangles
and Beads (Chattanooga Symphony and Opera Guild)
• Hot Latin Nights
Cabaret (Kansas City Symphony Guild in Kansas)
Gala/Tree Walk/ Holiday Boutique (The Naples Philharmonic
• 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
• 2009 Symphony
Showhouse – Hillrock Manor (Waco Symphony Council)
• Table Art 2010 –
Annieglass (Omaha Symphony Guild)
Educating: Special Volunteer
Sessions at Conference
chief executive officer, YWCA of Minneapolis, will be the Volunteer
Networking Luncheon keynote speaker at this year's League Conference.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
Nomination forms are available on the League here.