1. Feedback from Conference 2018
We are using feedback from the Chicago Conference to shape the volunteer programs in Nashville. Volunteers told us they want more information on leadership, more informal networking time, and electives that appeal to both volunteers and orchestra staff. In addition, they requested a larger space for presentations and logistical guidance. As we develop the Conference volunteer programming (“volunteer track”), it is our intention to address these requests.
2. Conference Location
Omni Downtown Nashville Hotel
250 5th Avenue South, Nashville, TN 37203
The Omni Nashville will serve as headquarters and main meeting spaces; there will also be events held at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center, home of the Nashville Symphony.
3. Hotel Reservations
The League’s group rate is $249/night + tax (single/double) for the period of June 1-6, 2019. Call the Hotel at 615 782 5300 and ask for the group reservation agent handling the League of American Orchestras “room block.” Book rooms now; downtown Nashville will be sold out this week for other events!
4. Conference Registration
Registration will open around February 15th, 2019.
Check back at the League Website for updates!
5. Volunteer Track Timeline
The following is our current plan for volunteers attending Conference. Specifics may change as the League finalizes all programming.
Sunday, June 2 (arrival)
7pm Dine-Around Dinners at local restaurants (pay your own way)
Monday, June 3
8:30am Volunteer Track Begins
11:30am Networking Lunch*
1:00pm Opening Session for all Conference attendees
2:45pm Volunteer Track continues
7:00pm Nashville Symphony Performance*
Tuesday, June 4
8:45am Volunteer networking and elective sessions
5:00pm Open Evening for dinner and country music!
Wednesday, June 5 (departure)
8:45am Volunteer Track continues
3:00pm Conference ends
* requires purchasing a ticket during Conference registration
Gold Book Awards of Excellence: Announcing the 2019 Winners!
by Cindy Kidwell
Innovation, best practice, return on investment, volunteer involvement, and impact describe projects from across the nation that will be featured during the League of American Orchestras National Conference in Nashville this June. Six Gold Book Award of Excellence Winners, chosen from submissions on the volunteer website, will be recognized and featured during Volunteer Track sessions.
Enjoy a thumbnail sketch of each project to get a glimpse of what you will learn in Nashville from the presentations of these award-winning projects. The following are listed in alphabetical order by symphony name. Congratulations to each Award of Excellence winner; we look forward to hearing details about your projects in Nashville!
2017 President’s Holiday Reception—with a Peppermint Twist
The Symphony Guild of Charlotte, Charlotte Symphony Orchestra
The Guild leadership faced a big challenge—how to create an event that would engage leadership in serious strategic discussions without creating one more meeting. The result—a “bring your own chili mug” buffet dinner and lively retreat paired with the President’s annual holiday reception for board members and committee chairs.
Dia de los Muertos
West Suburban Friends of Chicago Sinfonietta, Chicago Sinfonietta
A unique fundraising event inspired by traditions of Mexican origin, Dia de los Muertos, featured dinner, a silent auction, and face painting. Guests were encouraged to arrive in costume and were treated to a mariachi band and an authentic Mexican menu. Volunteers not only generated a healthy net profit, but also met their goal to increase ticket sales and introduce new subscribers to the orchestra.
Friendship & Fellowship—Finding Our Sustainers
Women’s Symphony League of Tyler, East Texas Symphony Orchestra
Supporting active membership and the League’s administrative budget, sustaining memberships were on the decline. WSL leadership set a lofty goal of increasing sustaining membership to 200–an addition of 75 members. This League took a closer look at what drives membership, developed a plan of action, and achieved its goal!
2018 Houston Symphony Ball: The Balinese Room & Silent Auction
Houston Symphony League, Houston Symphony Orchestra
Volunteers for the annual Ball were focused on bringing new life to the Ball’s silent auction. Profits soared with three new ideas: five creatively assembled packages of symphony experiences from across the country; a pay-to-play “grab bag” game featuring upscale donations from exclusive shops of River Oaks; and annual memberships to a variety of Houston museums and other cultural centers.
Kansas City Symphony Ball 2017 – “An Evening in Vienna”
Kansas City Symphony League, Kansas City Symphony
Vienna and its romantic waltzes inspired League volunteers for their annual gala. The Ball joined together individuals, local businesses, and the arts community for one elegant evening—and more! The League honored benefactors three nights before the ball, and featured the Kansas City Ballet and Symphony together at the ball, and two months later, the League sponsored a shopping spree to boost total earnings.
Symphony of the City “Art and Architecture of Waco”
Waco Symphony Council, Waco Symphony Orchestra
Replacing two established fundraising events which had “run their course” led the Waco Symphony Council to create “Symphony of the City,” a progressive cocktail party in unique homes of Waco. The mechanics of planning a party on the move, developing new volunteer roles, community engagement, and managing change were critical in achieving their goal.
Start Planning Future Gold Book Winners Now!
When you’re knee deep in planning for your current projects or events, take a few moments to evaluate whether they would be applicable to other volunteer organizations and worthy of recognition. It is not too early to identify that new initiative, successful program, or special event to submit for award consideration.
Deadline for submissions will be August 31, 2019. Get a head start by reviewing your award-worthy 2018-19 projects now! Eligible project categories include education, audience development/community engagement, communications and technology, fundraising, service, leadership, and membership. Winners will be recognized at the 2020 League Conference.
Your Volunteer Council Exists to Help You
by Tiffany Ammerman
Planning to hold a silent auction at your next fundraiser? Wishing it didn’t take so much work? Consider taking your auction online with 32auctions.com. This resource is a low cost way to create a silent auction, add auction items and then sit back and get bids. No need to set up an auction display or handle check out at the end of the evening.
Friends of the League of American Orchestras Volunteer Council
Our closed group on Facebook is a way to connect and share with fellow symphony volunteers from around the country and a great resource for the upcoming Conference in Nashville. We’ll post:
- Tips for registering and maximizing your experience at Conference
- Options for our Dine Around networking evening with links to each restaurant
- Highlights of key “don’t miss” sessions planned for attendees.
Our Facebook group is open to those involved or affiliated with symphony orchestras and their volunteer organizations. To join, email firstname.lastname@example.org and receive an “invitation.” Please spread the word to others who might be interested to join.