News & Notes - June 2013

NOTEWORTHY: Three Cheers for Becky Brown and Sharon Ward!

Words cannot express the SVA’s appreciation for the enormous skills that Becky Brown brought to the office of President. Becky used her corporate background and knowledge to move the SVA’s operations into the 21st century. A few of Becky’s accomplishments are as follows:

  • Implementation of a restructured SVA Board to help streamline the organization
  • Creation of News & Notes to give members up-to-date information about SVA activities via email
  • Encouragement of members to use electronic communication and record keeping
  • Initiation of the our online Membership Directory
  • Encouragement of the Membership Committee to use innovative ways to increase Membership and active participation

Sharon Ward has served as the VP of Fundraising for the last two years. She is one talented lady who just seems to appear out of nowhere to give a helping hand. Sharon was a major force with the group who helped to restructure the SVA Board. Because of her business experience, she proved to be invaluable in guiding fundraising projects. Even as a non-musician, she can show any child how to play the trombone, trumpet, and more. Sharon is taking a break for the time being, but I know that our SVA Dynamo will be standing by to help the SVA when she can. Thank you Becky and Sharon for your outstanding efforts.


VP of Membership Marjorie Smith has grown SVA membership and helped to increase member participation with the help of a dedicated team. Congratulations on a job well done.

Becky Brown reports that all volunteer slots are filled for the League of American Orchestras Conference. Be sure to get a ticket for the special concert on Tuesday, June 18. Becky will give a final report on the event in the July issue of News & Notes.

Committee chairs please make every effort to turn in your committee’s work hours ASAP to Margie Knapp. We can see the evidence of your hard work, so now let’s get our organization credit for doing M-O-R-E. M-O-R-E Volunteers (contributing 50 or more volunteer hours) receive a bright red tag to add to your volunteer name tag as a special acknowledgement of service.

Former chair Penny Bari writes, “The New and Prospective Members Committee really needs more volunteers.” Contact Margie Lazarus or Christy Adams if you are interested in joining the N & P Committee.

Elizabeth Weinman (Libby) reports that plans are well underway for locations and programs for the SVA’s regular meetings in the upcoming year. This committee is also actively involved in membership renewals. More information will be available about how to sign up for committees when the new Board becomes active after the transitional Board Meeting on June 5.

The One and Done Committee has a place for you. It provides support to the STL Symphony and other SVA Committees on an ad hoc basis. It’s a wonderful option for new SVA members, veteran members who want to find out about less familiar committees, and anyone who has time here and there and does not want to commit to longer-term options that some committees may prefer or require. Contact Chair Linda Seibert for more information.

Helen Hume will be serving as the Communications Chair under the Membership Committee. She writes, “I will be looking for members to join the Communications Committee and to help with KeyNotesPlaybill, the SVA Membership Directory, and the Photo Committee.”

Each member may now access the Membership Directory online. Contact a member of the SVA Board or Amee Colvin for the password to access this file. The directory will be updated with new members and corrections each month so you will always have the latest contact information for each member. Please be sure to notify Amee of any changes to your listing.


Retiring Executive Board Secretary Margie Knapp writes, “It has been a joy and a privilege to serve as Secretary for the Symphony Volunteer Association these past two years. I have met so many wonderful people in this organization, who now are my dear friends. Many thanks for all your kindness and for your efforts in tracking your volunteer hours.”

Committee chairs should continue to send their hours to Margie Knapp through May, and after that period to our new Executive Board Secretary, Kathy Borges.


A message from Gypsy Caravan Chair, Janice Seele: “Thank you my fabulous Gypsy team! You all did an amazing job! I so appreciate your hard work, your creativity and the guidance you gave me. During the entire (non-torrential) portion of the day, vendors were happy, guests were smiling and shopping, everything was buzzing along smoothly—all due to your tremendous planning and execution. And after the buckets began to fall, I can't tell you enough how much I appreciate the way that everyone stepped in to get us packed up safely, smoothly, and in good humor. It was a lot of work and a great experience. I count myself lucky to have had the chance to work with such a great group of people. Exciting news about financial results coming soon!

Parties of Note Chairs Linda Lee and Anne von der Heydt report that of the 31 parties offered for 2013-14, 12 parties are completely sold out. Another dozen parties sold more than 50% of the available reservations at the Pick a Party!; however, there are still several wonderful parties available for sale. Review the Parties of Note catalog and then contact the Powell Hall Box Office (314-534-1700 or today to make your reservations.


VP Kathy Ryan has done an outstanding job with the Expanded Education and Powell Hall Opportunities arm of the SVA.

Vi Steinmeyer and Margaret Lahrmann

Margaret Lahrmann and Vi Steinmeyer have completed very successful two year terms as Chair and Vice Chair of Picture the Music. Year after year, this program reaches an average of 15,000+ students in grades K-6 throughout the St. Louis area.

Please take the time to read Vi’s account of one child’s experience with PTM:

“When was the last time (if ever) a mother came to you and told you with a catch in her voice about what something has meant for her child? This happened to me at our Picture the Music Awards Ceremony. Sharing how her military family had made many, many moves over the years and that her daughter also dealt with a personal “challenge,” this mother told her story first to me, and then graciously repeated it over and over as we pulled more and more of our volunteers into the loop to listen. She told us how her daughter had trouble fitting in to begin with due to all the moves, and that along with that she had a learning/physical challenge, but that Picture the Music had opened a new door for her. Mother knew that the next day her daughter would go to school wearing a lovely medallion on a ribbon around her neck, and she knew her daughter would know she was not just “special”—she was truly SPECIAL!

This story is just one of the rewarding experiences in the 23 years of PTM history. Chair Margaret Lahrmann and I can only say “thank you” to each and every committee member who helped make PTM a great success this year. Those of you who have not had the experience, think about joining this committee.

Next time you listen to a selected piece of music, take a moment to close your eyes and see what comes to your mind—it’s amazing what happens when we Picture the Music.”

Instrument Playground Chair Marilyn Homes writes, “Our 2012-13 season ended not with a whimper but a bang! Gypsy Caravan and IP at the Children’s Corner was a smash! Our workers were great including a new member and the Saunders’ grandchildren. In the morning, a man walked up to THANK us for having IP there. In the last five years (he’s now 65) he has found music! It’s changed his life! That’s why we do IP! We will meet on August 16 to refresh and train.”

Former Chairs Phyllis Traub and Kathryn Snodgrass hosted a lovely thank you and planning session for Express the Music. Under the guidance of VP Kathy Ryan and faithful members, the committee had another successful year. Planning has begun for the 2013-2014 writing competition, open to students in grades 6-12, and additional committee members are needed.

Chair Terri Ciccolella and Vice Chair Christy Adams have helped the Powell Hall Opportunities committee become an invaluable link between the SVA and STL Symphony staff. In addition to operating Powell Hall Tours, serving as ambassadors at the Symphony Coffee Concerts, and assisting with Youth Orchestra Auditions, PHO members will now serve as bus valets for education concerts at Powell Hall.


Centene Center for Arts and Education
3547 Olive St., Suite 370
St. Louis, MO 63103
Office Hours: 9:00am–5:00pm

SVA committee meetings can be scheduled at the SVA office with Director of Volunteer Activities, Amee Colvin.

A member of your SVA committee should be available in the Centene Center lobby to let you into the building. If you arrive late and no one is there, use the call box at the street entrance. Scroll down to “Symphony Volunteer Association,” hit the call button, and Amee will respond. You may also call the office directly at 314-289-4168 for building entrance.