News & Notes - November 2013

From the SVA President

How do you spell LEADER?

L – Lead
E – Evolve
A – Adapt
D – Dare
E – Enthuse
R – Rely

Luckily, we have many members in the SVA who know how to spell leader and know exactly what a leader is and does. The first SVA Leadership Training Session was held at the Centene Center on Saturday, November 2, and over 20 SVA leaders attended.

Recently, Jim and Anne von der Heydt helped to clarify some communication methods that were shared in the training. Anne Carman and Kathy Borges have also been helpful with suggestions for committee and team communications:

Date all emails and update the subject line to the current topic

  • Use emails for disseminating information
  • Pick up the phone when emails begin to get cumbersome
  • Meet face to face for discussion and debate
  • All SVA meetings require minutes and distribution to attendees within the week of the meeting with next steps listed and tasks assigned to individuals
  • An hours collector should be assigned at each meeting or work party
  • Many committees now are choosing to have a lead person on hand at work parties to make sure all volunteers are introduced, trained and hours are collected

Look for more tips next month gathered at Leadership Training Day.

Leaders find a way to say, “Yes!” Have you said “Yes!” lately?

Many thanks,

Sara Fabick
St. Louis Symphony Volunteer Association
p: 314-822-1183


Membership will hold a full committee meeting for both Regular and New and Prospective Committee members on Monday, December 9 at the Centene Center (10:00-11:30am). Why? The SVA is an expanding organization with 389 members. To ensure that volunteers are given the opportunity to participate, we need a large, active committee who can help with membership renewal, orientation for new members, leadership training, staffing welcoming tables at Placement Days, the Forest Park Concert, Subscriber Appreciation Day, Friends events, planning SVA General Meetings and New and Prospective Member Parties, and even more.

There is much to do—and the good news is that these volunteer opportunities are enjoyable and rewarding. Are you a “People Person”? The Membership Committee is for you. Just say, “Yes!” To get involved, contact Anne Carman.

The 2013-2014 Membership Directory is now available in print and can be accessed online. Most of our members have expressed interest in continuing to receive the printed directory. This year’s directory is especially appealing to many members because the cover celebrates our beloved Picture the Music. The printed directory is very useful when members are working away from their computers or perhaps they are not adept at using the online version.

There are advantages to both directories, but there is one major, important difference. Printed directories cost money to produce and mail, and are not updated for a calendar year after they are produced. Online directories are virtually cost free, are updated on a regular basis, and can give users instant access to emails by double clicking on the email address in the listing.

Here’s how to get your printed 2013-2014 Membership Directory:

  • Pick up your copy at the St. Louis County Library Headquarters on Saturday, Nov 30 or Thursday, December 12, 10:00am-noon
  • Contact Amee Colvin and ask to have your copy left at the Boutique to be picked up at concert, or arrange to pick up a directory at the Centene Center
  • Ask a friend who goes to the office frequently to pick up a copy for you
  • Pick up your directory at Winter Heat

 Approximately 200 directories have yet to be picked up. Printed directories could be on the endangered list if members do not make an effort to get their directories.

Click here to access the online version of the directory and you will be asked for a password. If you do not know the password, call any Board Member for the information or Amee Colvin. Once you get used to the online directory, you will use it frequently!

Linda Seibert and Jeff and Patty Kaplan seem to have a good handle on sharing the One and Done committee’s workload. When Linda is out of town, Jeff or Patty send out volunteer requests. Jeff is also the keeper of the hours which he eventually sends to Linda for approval and forwards to Exec. Secretary Kathy Borges. The three are successfully working as a tag team. Recently Jeff needed substitutes for an O & D assignment. Within minutes of his replacement request, the job was filled.

Note to volunteers: Good volunteers are reliable, but with 389 volunteers, chairs can usually find a replacement for you when you are unexpectedly unavailable. Don’t be afraid to say, “yes,” for fear you will have to say, “no” later. SVA Volunteers help each other!

Chair of Communications Helen Hume is often looking for personal anecdotes, skills, and celebrations of SVA Members. She has the opportunity to personalize articles in Playbill and KeyNotes with some of these stories. If you know some special news about a member, forward it to Helen and she will try to find the opportunity to use the information if it fits in the article. We have great writers in the SVA, but all writers need interesting material.


The second Parties of Note planning meeting was held on Thursday, October 17. Veteran volunteer Anne von der Heydt uses a trick that some chairs and secretaries may find helpful. She takes the minutes herself at meetings by using her agenda for the meeting and adding the notes to the agenda items in red. Anne’s minutes always arrive shortly after the meeting. Next steps are basically taken care of because they are a part of the agenda. This committee is for party people and definitely needs more members because a lot of exciting plans are underway to make PON bigger and better than ever. To get involved, contact Anne von der Heydt. Click here to view remaining 2013-2014 parties available for purchase.

The first steering committee for Gypsy Caravan 2014 was postponed and held on Tuesday, November 12 at the home of Janice Seele. Final venue arrangements should be announced soon. The enthusiastic Gypsy Steering Committee is already rolling up their sleeves to get started. There are so many experts in this group (vendors, contracts, data entry, signage, children's playground, food vendors, site management, Friends of Gypsy Caravan, volunteer recruitment, trainers, and more). The next steering committee meeting is set for Tuesday, December 10, 4:30-6:30pm. To get involved with the SVA’s largest fundraiser, contact Janice Seele. Even the meetings are fun!


Instrument Playground has presented at their first Family Concert with the next one planned for Sunday, November 17. Berakiah Boone and Jessica Ingraham from the St. Louis Symphony’s education staff have been very helpful in making suggestions for our popular Instrument Playground stations. If you have not attended one of the STL Symphony’s Family Concerts, mark your calendars. They are such a fun opportunity to bring young friends, grandchildren, or just yourself. Coming up on Sunday, November 17 is SymphonySLAM. This concert will be a true fusion between visual art and music! STL Symphony Music Director David Robertson pairs images of some of the Saint Louis Art Museum’s beloved treasures with music from Britten and Bartók! Click here for tickets or call 314-534-1700.

Team leaders Dennis and Ellen Brommelhorst are still scheduling the Boutique for holiday concerts in December. Boutique volunteers please check your calendars. Many of the holiday concerts sell out, but Boutique volunteers should have seating. To get involved, contact Dennis and Ellen.

Recently, Boutique volunteer Janet Congdon created a checklist for Boutique volunteers to use to make sure they had completed all of the necessary tasks for the evening. The procedures were already all in place, but Jan’s simplified checklist has been very helpful. Too bad there isn’t an “I” in Leader to stand for “Innovative”!

VP of Education Gerry Frankenfeld will be presenting to the Des Lee Institute at the University of Missouri-St. Louis Campus on Wednesday, November 19. This group is always very receptive to hearing about the music education programs of the STL Symphony and the SVA.

Powell Hall Opportunities volunteers assisting with buses at Education Concerts will be called “Bus Hosts.” The Bus Hosts will serve as ambassadors of the STL Symphony as they greet teachers and students, and help to assure their safety as they enter Powell Hall. The first series of training sessions have been completed. At least eight more volunteer Bus Hosts are needed, and additional training sessions will be arranged. To become a Bus Host, contact Dan Wells.

The Picture the Music committee planning meeting was on Thursday, October 17. Many experienced and some new and enthusiastic committee members attended and all generously offered to help with this year's program. The brochure is posted online and the postcard was mailed to teachers and schools. If anyone is interested in joining this well-established committee, please email or call Susan Pribble.

Team Leader Alan Fiddleman is really bragging about his Tour Guides. They received rave reviews for their special tours on Subscriber Appreciation Day, held Friday, October 26. Marketing Manager David Nitschwitz jumped on board to praise all of the SVA workers (Tours, Boutique, and Membership) who helped make that day a huge success. To get involved, contact Alan Fiddleman.

The STL Symphony thrives when faithful patrons, new attendees, people of all ages from preschoolers to senior citizens attend concerts at Powell Hall. We can help the STL Symphony to achieve their mission of “enriching people’s lives through the power of music” by purchasing and attending a series of concerts or single tickets at Powell Hall. Have you purchased a ticket to a concert for this season? If not, please do so soon. You will be entertained by one of the best orchestras in the world in an acoustically excellent hall with amazingly beautiful surroundings.


SVA Office Location and Directions
Centene Center for Arts and Education(link to Google maps)
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 Amee Colvin, Director of Volunteer Activities.

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.