A delegation of Dallas symphony patrons attended the Association of Major Symphony Orchestra Volunteers (AMSOV) 43rd North American Biennial Conference in Washington, D.C. on June 2-5, 2022. It marked the second time the Conference has been held in the nation’s capital. The proud host of the conference was the Volunteer Council for the National Symphony Orchestra with the REACH at the Kennedy Center as the site of the conference sessions.
The annual AMSOV Innovator Awards were presented to six volunteer orchestra groups. The Dallas Symphony Orchestra League was a recipient of the award in recognition for their Junior Symphony Ball (JSB). The JSB was carefully executed by more than 750 committee members with over 2800 students from 35 schools attending the celebratory evening with dinner, dancing and music, raising a record setting $446,000.
The Dallas delegation was led by Marena Gault, the President of AMSOV, whose term ended at the conference turnover session on the final day. Marena has served on the AMSOV board for seven years and will remain for two more years as Past President. Marena was preceded in her Presidency by notable past presidents from Dallas including Heather Moore, Dolores Barzune and The Honorable Annette Strauss.
Other Dallas delegates included Venise Stuart, Immediate Past President of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra League, DSO Director of Volunteer Services Allison Brodnax, Karen Cox, Rose Gault and Deborah Brown.
Volunteer groups from all over North America who are passionate about supporting their symphony orchestras met for the three days of sessions discussing The Power of Music Reimagined and exploring what the future might hold for classical music in 2022 and beyond. Prominent speakers and exclusive venues were featured in full conference schedule.
Volunteers augment a good staff and create life-long connections that have a positive impact on orchestras. Across North America, many major symphonies’ board members and major donors started through the volunteer pipeline.
“Speaking from my experiences as a donor, board member, and volunteer, I am certain I would not be a part of our symphony family had I not volunteered all those years ago,” said Marena “There are so many scenarios that occur across North America in our orchestras that demonstrate the power of volunteerism.”
Orchestras and their volunteer groups experienced shutdowns during COVID and are slowly returning to full performance schedules.
Conferences have always been an important component of AMSOV. They serve the purpose of bringing people together who share a passion and a concern for the continuing success of symphony orchestras and symphonic music. Conferences provide a time and a place for the sharing of ideas, learning about ways to engage volunteers, discovering and developing new methods of fundraising, and building leadership skills. Since 1937, conferences have played a sustaining role in the success of AMSOV.
The mission of AMSOV is to ensure the continued existence of major symphony orchestras in North America through volunteerism. Its membership consists of 23 orchestra volunteer groups throughout the nation which meet every two years. The next biennial conference will be held in Kansas City on April 18-21, 2024.