News & Notes - January 2014

From the SVA President

In speaking with an older friend at a holiday party a very lively octogenarian used a phrase that I really liked. Billie T. said that her motto almost all of her life was and is when asked to try something entirely new and different she almost always thought about it and said, “I can do that!”

The Powell Hall Opportunities Cadre, Instrument Playground, and One and Done Committee exemplified this I can do attitude at Powell Hall in the month of December as they assisted with mailing holiday cards, serving as Santa’s helpers, decorating, stocking and manning the Boutique, and creating a playground of instruments for students and adults to experience at a special holiday concert.

Like my friend Billie T., SVA volunteers so often say, “I can do that!” Read the report in News & Notes on the upcoming work of theSVA Nominating Committee, and don’t forget that important phrase, “I can do that!” We will need volunteers of all ages and experience to fill important key positions in the SVA to keep our organization strong and viable.

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


With the potential for inclement weather during these busy months, chairs should remind committee members to check their email before going out on an assignment. Sometimes cancellations happen at the last minute and reaching long lists of volunteers by telephone is difficult.

Volunteers will be notified by email in most cases if plans have changed. Replacements will be sought for volunteers who cannot make the events that are not cancelled. The most important element here is communication. This caveat includes all SVA Committees because there will be many meetings and events in our wintery months. Volunteers, when you are in doubt about an upcoming event, check your email or call the event coordinator.

The Membership Committee held a Kick-Off and Reorganization Meeting on Monday, December 9 at the Centene Center. Sara Fabick presented an explanation of the SVA organizational chart. Membership represents one of three major arms of the SVA (Membership, Education, and Fundraising). She explained that recent restructuring in the SVA with this plan has simplified the organization somewhat, but the SVA remains a complex organization. With 387 active members there is a need for a larger, more active membership team to handle various responsibilities.

Responsibilities for filling membership assignments will continue to be divided between two sets of chairs: Regular Membership and New and Prospective Members. However the actual volunteers working on the assignments will be selected from the total Membership Committee list. Therefore the chairs will have a list of over 30 members to ask for help instead of 10 to 15 volunteers divided into two groups. At the present time vice presidents and chairs are filling many of the assignments. Volunteers will respond to work requests only if they are able to help—exactly like the process used on the One and Done Committee.

Libby Weinman described the various activities the Membership group will be doing. Anne Carman explained the process of renewing SVA membership and described some new procedures that will be used to facilitate the process of renewal. Jeff Kaplan described the variety of work that One and Done does and the process that is used to request volunteers.

Membership is also responsible for distributing SVA membership directories, updating volunteers’ placement in committees, initiating a new orientation program for recent and new members, leadership training, planning additional technical training for volunteers, and reporting the news through Membership’s communication teams. All of these functions are important keys to any successful volunteer organization.

If you would like to become a part of this important, evolving, major arm of the SVA, contact Anne Carman.

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

  • 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

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!

Veteran volunteer Phyllis Traub will chair the SVA Nominating Committee, and the work of this committee will begin soon. Director Amee Colvin has suggested that each SVA committee chair write a job description for their particular position, so that the Nominating Committee can give a potential candidate a clear and honest explanation of the work a Committee Chair does. Even if chairs are continuing in their current position, job descriptions will be created for all positions.

The Executive Board asks that these descriptions be sent to Sara Fabick by Saturday, February 1. The descriptions will be compiled, standardized and forwarded to the Nominating Committee.

Chairs can find descriptions of each committee and team here. However the chair description will be more specific about the work the chair does. Sample chair descriptions will be sent by email to committee chairs shortly.


Don’t miss the upcoming Family Concert on Sunday, January 12, featuring Peter and the Wolf. Instrument Playground will be present before the concert, and the 45-minute performance, under the direction of Resident Conductor Steven Jarvi, promises to be a special event.

Express the Music and Picture the Music are gearing up for the busiest four months of their committee work. The groundwork has been laid, so now volunteers will be greatly needed to assure that the programs are carried out.

In addition to being an important addition to the STL Symphony’s Family Concerts and other special events at Powell Hall and in the community, Instrument Playground will soon begin making school presentations as part of the Symphony in Your School program under the direction of Berakiah Boone. Chair and Vice Chair Marilyn Holmes and Kitty Pearl will be busily getting their teams set up to do this important educational outreach work.


The Parties of Note committee is finalizing 2014-2015 contracts for a January deadline.

While wonderful parties are still going on, the PON steering committee and full committee are busily preparing for the Pick a Party! on Sunday, April 27 to announce parties for the upcoming year. Regardless of when, where, or how the party is held, Parties of Note are just not to be missed. Click here to see a list of remaining 2013-2014 parties.

Stay tuned! The public announcement of a new location for Gypsy Caravan will be made shortly.


SVA Office Location and Directions
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 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.