Volunteer Notes A Newsletter of the League of American Orchestras' Volunteer Council

The League of American Orchestras' Volunteer Council leads, advocates, and champions volunteer organizations in their efforts to support their orchestras' community outreach and civic partnerships to advance the experience of orchestral music.


Ginny Lundquist, Volunteer Notes Editor | ginny10849@me.com

Past President, Detroit Symphony Orchestra Volunteer Council


Get to Know the Nashville Symphony

Save The Dates!

Volunteer Council Feature: One, Two, Three!

Engaging Volunteers Through Facebook

The Volunteer Council

Get to Know the Nashville Symphony

Host of the 2019 League of American Orchestras National Conference

Established in 1946, the Nashville Symphony has 83 musicians led by Music Director Giancarlo Guerrero. Guerrero is a six-time GRAMMY® Award-winning conductor now in his 10th season as Music Director of the Nashville Symphony. Guerrero is also Music Director of the Wrocław Philharmonic at the National Forum of Music in Poland and Principal Guest Conductor of the Gulbenkian Orchestra in Lisbon, Portugal. Guerrero is widely praised for his instinctive musicianship and for bringing vitality and physical dynamism to the podium.

A passionate proponent of new music, Guerrero has championed the works of America's most respected composers through commissions, recordings, and world premieres. Guerrero’s advocacy has helped make Nashville a destination for contemporary orchestral music. The symphony focuses on the orchestral excellence of contemporary American composers, performing more than 170 concerts annually and boasting more than 29 recordings, being nominated for 24 and winning 13 GRAMMY Awards. Located in the heart of downtown Nashville, the orchestra proves Nashville is a lot more than the country music capital.

We all anticipate a wonderful League Conference in Nashville June 3-5, 2019!

Save the Dates!

League of American Orchestras Conference

June 3 – 5, 2019

Hosted by the Nashville Symphony Orchestra

Omni Hotel Nashville – 250 5th Avenue South, Nashville, TN 37203

There is lots to do in Nashville and you don’t want to miss it!
Arrive on June 2nd for our Volunteer Dine Around Dinners, network and exchange ideas with your peers, explore the Honky Tonk bars on the Broadway Strip, tap your toes to country music at the Ryman Theater, listen to stunning classical performances at Nashville's Schermerhorn Symphony Center, and enjoy the city's gorgeous views from the Omni in Downtown Nashville.

The League’s group rate is $249/night + tax (single/double) for the period of June 1-6, 2019. Room reservations can be made by calling 615 782 5300 and referencing the “League of American Orchestras” room block.

Please note that Downtown Nashville will be sold out this week due to the Country Music Awards; availability on the shoulder dates of Conference is extremely limited.

Volunteer Council Feature

One New President, Two New Members, Three Sustainers!

It takes many talents to keep the Volunteer Council functioning smoothly. Each year the VC elects new leaders, selects new members, and engages Sustainers to energize and bring new ideas to our efforts on behalf of orchestra volunteers across the country. The next three articles focus on some of the talented volunteers who will be leading us this year.

First we learn about Tiffany Ammerman, our new VC President, whose love of orchestras and volunteers in her home state of Texas led her to serve six years on the Volunteer Council Board. Next we meet our newest members Bruce Colquhoun and Laurie Skjerseth, both of whom have served as orchestra volunteers and past presidents. And we’ll also learn about three vibrant and experienced Sustainers, Laura Hyde, Heather Moore, and Helen Shaffer, all former VC leaders and active volunteers with their home orchestras.

Tiffany Ammerman

Volunteer Council President 2018-19

by Janet Cabot

Jim and Tiffany Ammerman with grandson Holden at Grandparents Day at his school / Tiffany (right) enjoying a “Grapefruit League” spring training game in Florida with her friend Kirsten Pressler Diaddario / The Ammerman family poses with Daisy Duck at Walt Disney World.

If you want to bring a smile to her face, ask Tiffany Ammerman about her three grandchildren, Avynn, McClane, and Holden. They are her pride and joy. This is just one of the things you learn when you meet Tiffany.

One of the other things you learn is that she likes baseball. She has visited every Major League park except for four. What Tiffany enjoys about baseball is its slow pace. She finds the game relaxing. Her baseball interest was a family affair: her husband coached summer league baseball and her daughter played softball starting at age five. As Tiffany's friend Patsy notes,

"She has a passion for baseball and classical music—yes, correct! Many-faceted."

Tiffany and her father both love to dance and have danced together since she took square dancing lessons as a child. They’re still dancing together every Wednesday night. She is also known to hit the road on solo driving trips. One of her favorite discoveries while driving was Twin Falls National Park in Idaho. She enjoys the beauty of nature and has added Oregon's Oneonta Gorge and Thor's Well to her list of places to visit.

Texas Native and Legal Veteran

This year's Volunteer Council president is an East Texas native who lives in Marshall, TX and has three adult children – son Eric and daughters Marisa and Madison -- and a husband of 27 years, Jim Ammerman II. Except for a brief time in the oil and gas business in the booming 80's, Tiffany has made her career in the legal field. She took courses at East Texas Baptist University and was a Court Administrator. She manages her husband's law office in Marshall.

Volunteer Extraordinaire

Tiffany is a volunteer's volunteer. She is the perfect embodiment of the expression: "If you want something done, ask a busy person." People often ask her to volunteer and she always answers the call.

She became a member of the Marshall Symphony League in 1992. Her 27-year involvement was sparked when her daughter played the violin and was taught and mentored by the Symphony's Maestro. He suggested she join the symphony's volunteer group. By 1999 she was president of the organization; the youngest person to serve in that role at the time. Her own musical experience was limited to a few years of piano in grade school, but she grew up loving music in all forms.

Her talent and skills as a volunteer were quickly noted by a friend, who recruited her for the Marshall Symphony Orchestra Board. She has been president of that Board several times. Another friend recruited her to represent the Marshall Symphony with the Texas Association of Symphony Orchestras (TASO). Tiffany served as TASO 2004 President; 21 years later she is still their representative.

Marshall Symphony Maestro Kermit Poling shares that "Tiffany is my rock and compass on the symphony board as well as a dear friend. Her enthusiasm for the MSO and the community is contagious and she is encouraging no matter what ideas I may spring on her. She's someone I can count on to steer me on the right heading whenever I need guidance."

Passionate about the Arts

Her passion for the arts extends to involvement with the Marshall Regional Arts Council, the Michelson Museum of Art, and the annual Downtown Marshall Concert, a week-long event she has chaired since its inception in 2007. She happily mentored a very capable young lady last year who now chairs the 2018 event! "I love how she cares about her community," says her daughter Madison. "She's had a love for the arts for as long as I can remember." Tiffany also served on the local school board for eight years and is very involved with her church, working on numerous committees and is currently Treasurer.

As she begins her seventh year on the Volunteer Council, Tiffany reflects that serving on the Council has deepened her belief that volunteers are vital to their orchestras. "They aren't volunteering to receive awards or personal acclaim, but truly for their love of music," she says. Tiffany describes her leadership style as democratic. She is open to all ideas and welcomes input from other Volunteer Council members, noting there is so much talent on the VC. She freely admits that her idea may not always be the best and welcomes advice and improvements to any idea.

Tiffany says she is fortunate to have developed lasting friendships as a result of being on the Volunteer Council. Her goal as president is to increase the size of the Council and have more representation across the spectrum of U.S. orchestras.

Boundless Energy and a Big Heart

Her enthusiasm, energy, and steadfastness are noted by friends and family alike. "Tiffany can juggle more things than a Ringling Bros clown and still keep it all together with a smile on her face and joy in her heart, " says one friend. Another friend comments, "Her energy is boundless and her love of orchestra goes far beyond the notes; it is the sharing of the sound with others that gives her the most joy." Her husband Jim simply says: "She is the heart and soul of our family. She is our rock."

Judging by these comments, the Volunteer Council is in very good hands!

Tiffany and family attending annual outdoor opening concert with the Marshall Symphony, “ The Music of James Bond”. Left to right: Jared (son-in-law), Madison (daughter), Dewey (dad), Tiffany, Dewey Jr. (brother), Sylvia (mom), Tonya (sister), Erik (son) and Jim (husband).

Meet the Class of 2018 Volunteer Council Members

by Janet Cabot

Bruce Colquhoun / Laurie Skjerseth

The Volunteer Council welcomes Bruce Colquhoun and Laurie Skjerseth to its class of 2018. Bruce is a member of the Spokane Symphony Associates (Spokane, WA) and Laurie is a member of the Volunteers for Symphony of the Quad City Symphony Orchestra Association (Davenport, IA).

Bruce joined the Spokane Symphony Associates in 2010 and is currently serving the second year of a two-year term as its President. He and his wife Sandy moved to Spokane in 2008 when he retired from 3M where he was production manager in the industrial tape division. He is a graduate of the University of Idaho with a degree in Electrical Engineering. After graduation and before joining 3M, he was commissioned in the Navy and spent six years on active duty. Bruce grew up in a household with classical music and played clarinet in school bands through college. He and Sandy have two grown daughters and one granddaughter.

Laurie has been a member of the Quad City Symphony Orchestra Association for 27 years and has served twice as president of their volunteer organizations; first with the Junior Board in 1987 and again with the Volunteers for Symphony from 2013-15. She was Project Chair for "100 Years, 100 Cellos," which received a Gold Book Award in 2015. Laurie is a retired music educator, teaching preschool-12 and college level. She was also QCSO Music Coordinator for ten years. Laurie holds a Bachelor of Music Education from Simpson College (Indianola, IA) and a Master of Fine Arts – Arts Management, the University of Iowa (Iowa City, IA). She and her husband split their time between Venice, FL and Davenport, IA, where she continues to be very involved in the Quad City Symphony.

Meet the Volunteer Council Sustainer Liaison Trio

by Tiffany Ammerman

Left > Right: Helen Shaffer, Laura Hyde, Tiffany Ammerman and Heather Moore

Please let me take this opportunity to introduce my Sustainer Liaison Trio Extraordinaire. If you have been around the East Texas Symphony (Tyler), the Dallas Symphony, the Houston Symphony, Texas Association for Symphony Orchestras (TASO) or the League of American Orchestras Volunteer Council, these ladies need no introduction due to the significant impact they have made and continue to make on the orchestra world.

Laura Hyde, Heather Moore, and Helen Shaffer are ladies to be reckoned with in any endeavor they take on, especially when it is related to a symphony orchestra. Each has served as President of their local orchestra volunteer associations, President of TASO and the League Volunteer Council. All of them have chaired conferences with their own volunteer associations, for TASO and for the League of American Orchestras Volunteer Council. Heather and Helen have both served as President of the Association of Major Symphony Orchestras (AMSOV) and have chaired conferences for the organization. Although they are all past presidents of these symphony-related organizations, they continue to play important roles in the success of all of them.

Laura Hyde has been a member of the Women's Symphony League of Tyler since 1982 and has served on many committees. She was president from 1996-1997 and has served on the East Texas Symphony Board for over 12 years. Laura served as the 2001 Texas Association for Symphony Orchestras President and the 2013 League of American Orchestras Volunteer Council President. Laura has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Southern Methodist University and lives in Tyler, TX. She and her husband H.T. have two sons, Todd and Trevor, and three grandsons, Hudson, Treves, and Talan. In 2018, Laura was named the Outstanding Sustainer Volunteer for the Junior League of Tyler.

Heather Moore, originally from Los Alamos, NM, attended Texas Woman's University and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. She worked at Children's Medical Center Dallas as a PICU/NICU RN where she met and married Dr. Gerald Moore. Dr. Moore was a season subscriber to the DSO beginning in 1976. Heather joined the Junior Group of the DSOL in 1978 and served as president in 1988. They have two children, Ashley and Graham. She joined the DSO League in 1988 and served as president in 2001-2002. Heather was selected a TASO President in 2006 and chaired the 50th Anniversary in 2017. She served as the 2009 President of AMSOV and joined the League Volunteer Council at that time. She remained on the Council and became the 2010 Volunteer Council President. Heather also chaired the Volunteer Council's 50th Anniversary Celebration in 2012-2013.

Helen Shaffer was surrounded by the arts beginning in her earliest years. Born in culturally rich Cincinnati, OH, her parents instilled in her a passion for music and the responsibility of sharing her gifts to benefit others. She earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from the College Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati. She sang with the Cincinnati Symphony as well as the Pittsburgh Symphony. She was a member of Robert Shaw Chorus and taught music at Miss Hutchison School in Memphis and the Lovett School in Atlanta. She is a Past President of the Houston Symphony League, TASO, AMSOV, and League Volunteer Council. She currently serves on the League Board, the Board of the Visitors University of Houston, Governing Board Houston Symphony, Advisory Board of the Alley Theatre and TASO Board and is a Trustee for the Houston Grand Opera. Helen and her husband Jim have two daughters, Angela and Katheryn, and five grandchildren, Stephen James, Mark David, James Henry, Mary Carol, and John William.

As you can see, we have some really special, talented and beautiful Sustainer Liaisons, and I am so grateful to call each one of them my dear friend. Please look for more to come from this trio later.

Engaging Volunteers Through Facebook

by Janet Cabot

Chances are your volunteer organization has a Facebook page. Having a page is great; using it effectively is even better. Having a robust and engaging presence on Facebook can and should be part of your overall marketing plan!

First, do a quick check on the state of your page. When was your last post? Typically how many posts do you have in a month? Do your posts garner many likes? If your answers are "last week," "four to five times" and "lots," that's excellent. Keep doing what you are doing! However, if your answers are "over a month ago," "not often" and "not many," it's time to up your social media game.

The two most important words when thinking about Facebook as a social marketing tool are "engagement" and "content." Engagement is to Facebook as a home location is to real estate: it's everything! The more frequently you post on your page, the more you engage your followers and the more you create connections. Ideally, you want to have a new post each week. Fresh posts keep people coming back and speak volumes about your organization. Consider the impression when the most recent post on a page is a month old. As part of your Marketing, Membership, or Communications committee (whichever is most appropriate) consider having someone be the point person for Facebook engagement.

As for the word "content," on Facebook content is king. People follow your organization because they want news and information about your activities and your volunteer group. Think about all that your organization does in terms of fundraising, educational efforts, community outreach, awards, and member news. There should be no shortage of potential posts. But, not every post has to be about your organization. If you see a great story or video related to symphony orchestras, music education, or perhaps a performing artist who will be playing in your hall, share a link. When it comes to content, remember a picture is worth a thousand words. Try to include a photo with every post. Visuals draw the reader and bring the organization to life. Make your Facebook page a place your followers want to visit regularly for interesting content.

Here are some other tips to maximize your Facebook presence.
  1. Schedule Posts. Facebook has a feature that lets you schedule posts. Prearranging posts to appear at a future date and time is a good way to ensure your page has fresh content no matter how busy your volunteers get.
  2. Create a Facebook Event. It is the Facebook version of your event invitation. It provides the “who, what, when, and where” details and can link back to your website to register.
  3. Make a “Roadmap." Create a month-by-month guide based on your known events and activities. An editorial calendar is a good way to make sure you have current content and multiple posts each month.
  4. Be “Liked.” Notice which posts gain the most likes, comments, or shares; think about what made them appealing. Try to do more of the same.
  5. Talk to a Marketer. Your orchestra’s marketing staff can be a wonderful resource. Take advantage of it. Ask them for their best practices or tips when it comes to social media.
  6. Make New Friends. Encourage your members to follow your page; include the Facebook logo in all your communications.

The Volunteer Council of the League of American Orchestras

Volunteer Council 2017-2018 | Front Row: Linda Weisbruch, Janet Cabot, Camille Williams, Becky Odland, Tiffany Ammerman, Iris Harvie, Sheri Gill, Sharon Hatchett; Back Row: Sandy Feldman, Ginny Lundquist, Tresa Radermacher, Beth Wise, Linda Stevens, Debbie McKinney, Cindy Kidwell, Julie Meredith

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 and through various resources.


Tiffany Ammerman, Marshall Symphony, TX | President

Becky Odland, Minnesota Orchestra, MN | Immediate Past President

Terry Ann White, Amarillo Symphony, TX | President-Elect

Linda Stevens, Kansas City Symphony, MO | Conference Chair

Tresa Radermacher, Northwest Indiana Symphony Orchestra, IN | Conference Chair-Elect


Janet Cabot, Madison Symphony Orchestra, WI

Bruce Colquhoun, Spokane Symphony, WA

Sandy Feldman, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, MD

Sharon Hatchett, Chicago Sinfonietta, IL

Cindy Kidwell, East Texas Symphony Orchestra, TX

Ginny Lundquist, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, MI

Julie Meredith, Utah Symphony, UT

Laurie Skjerseth, Quad City Symphony, IA

Terry Ann White, Amarillo Symphony, TX

Camille Williams, Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, AR

Beth Wise, Huntsville Symphony Orchestra, AL

Ex-Officio Members

Sheri Gill, AMSOV President, Los Angeles Philharmonic, CA

Kathleen McCracken, 2019 Conference Liaison-Nashville, Nashville Symphony, TN

Laura Hyde, Heather Moore and Helen Shaffer, Volunteer Council Sustainer Liaisons, TX

Marylou Turner, Sustainer Mentoring Program Chair, Kansas City Symphony, MO


Created with an image by geralt - "mobile phone smartphone keyboard"

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a copyright violation, please follow the DMCA section in the Terms of Use.