News & Notes - March 2014

From the SVA President

Recent news from Amee Colvin has taken the SVA Executive Committee and Membership by surprise. Amee will be phasing out of her job as Director of Volunteer Activities between March 2–June 30, working 25 hours/week in this phasing out period. You will all have received news of this transition with more details by email and direct mail by the time you read this issue of News & Notes.

We will be celebrating Amee’s commitment and dedication to the SVA for the next four months. In addition to her phenomenal memory, follow through on handling details, energy, and caring attitude, Amee has become a good friend to so many of us.

The good news is that Amee will have more time to spend with her loving and helpful husband, Scott, and her beautiful children Corinne and Landon.

On Another Note

One & Done Chairs and Vice Chairs Linda Seibert and Jeff and Patty Kaplan hosted a first ever Meet & Greet cocktail party for their committee which numbers about 100 people. Normally this committee has no meetings and sends and receives all work requests and responses by email. Linda was eager for her volunteers to have the opportunity to meet and see members they know and others who they have not been paired up with on assignments.

Parties of this sort, held in our attractive Centene office, are one of the benefits of being an SVA volunteer. You don’t ever want to miss a party put on by Linda Seibert and the Kaplans. The food and drinks were marvelous and to use a coined phrase, “A good time was had by all who attended.”

In speaking to SVA members at various STL Symphony and SVA events, I often hear the remarks like, “I didn’t know about that," “I think I am on One & Done, but I am not sure,” “I don’t believe I received that invitation," “I haven’t heard from any of my committees,” “I know I didn’t get that e-mail.”

As an SVA Volunteer:

  • Do you know your assigned committees?
  • Do you know who to call to get this information?
  • Are you reading your emails, so you will be in the loop?
  • Email is our major form of communication–so expecting an invitation or personal phone call to remind you of an event is not too likely.

THE SVA WANTS YOU! Are you doing your part to use modern communication tools to keep in touch?

Contact Odile Tompkins, Sara Fabick, or Amee Colvin, and we can help you with committee placement or clear up other questions you may have.


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


Adam Crane, VP of External Affairs for the STL Symphony, will be the speaker at the SVA Board Meeting on Thursday, March 13. Writers and photographers on the Communications Team under SVA Membership have been invited to attend the luncheon and presentation because Adam’s remarks will relate to their work and really all of the SVA Membership. More news to come in April’sNews & Notes.


The second New & Prospective Member Event of the 2013-2014 season will be held at the home of Linda and Paul Lee on Monday, March 31. Invitations are being sent by email. These events have proven to be very effective in recruiting new members. Some guests attend who have just recently joined the SVA and other guests almost always join after the party.

SVA members are welcome to invite a prospective member and attend the upcoming party with them. Invitations are sent by mail to the adjacent zip codes to the hosts’ home to encourage totally new people to get involved with the SVA.

In recent years some of most recent members have become very active in the SVA and are taking on leadership roles quickly in their tenure.

Helen Hume conducted the kick-off meeting for KeyNotes writers on Tuesday, February 25. KeyNotes will now be published annually in the fall after the completion of the STL Symphony’s fiscal year on August 31, so that financial reports and other data (such as total volunteer hours for the year) can be more up to date. Helen’s staff is planning some new highlights for this newly designed 12 page colorful magazine that will celebrate the SVA’s accomplishments.

Veteran volunteer Vi Steinmeyer is adding her writing talents to the team, and newer volunteers Jamie Spencer, Cecelia Webber, and Cindy Vespereny are greatly appreciated new editions to the team.

Do you know an unusual or interesting fact about an SVA member that others would love to hear? Send these charming tidbits to Helen Hume for consideration in a new column called “Have You Heard?” It was through a similar column that we learned that SVA Volunteer Bob Mills is a retired Hollywood make-up artist and still has voting rights for the Academy Awards. Don’t miss a chance to here some of his stories over lunch or coffee at various volunteers activities.

Photography Team Leader Margaret Lahrmann and Chair Helen Hume will be working on a written protocol to share with SVA photograhers, so they can be assured they are following STL Symphony policy. Margaret is and will be scheduling a lot of photography work in the coming months to be used for upcoming SVA publications, PowerPoint presentations, and award ceremonies.

Jeff Kaplan will be assisting in the production of an annual PowerPoint presentation which will document the work of the SVA. Dennis Brommelhorst also assists with PowerPoint production. Without the work of these two men some major presentations would not have been nearly so effective.

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.


Instrument Playground is in the thick of Symphony in Your School presentations. Intrepid volunteers have scheduled and rescheduled various events because of inclement weather at three schools in Warrenton, MO and they have also been to St. Joan of Arc School. They receive rave reviews wherever they go. Their enthusiasm for helping young and old alike make a sound on a musical instrument is heartwarming to see. IP also has a table at the Picture the Music Awards Ceremony every year.

Youth Orchestra Manager Jessica Ingraham brought YO performers to the Winter Membership Meeting on Saturday, March 1 at the Maryville Marriott Hotel. Jessica spoke about the restructuring changes that are in place now for Youth Orchestra, as the young people learn about the entire music industry in addition to their musical performance instruction and performing under Resident Conductor Steven Jarvi. 

Chair Kathryn Snodgrass and Vice Chair Susan Hoffman held preliminary judging for Express the Music on Saturday, February 22 at the SVA office. Bartók's Concerto for Orchestra, Movement IV, was playing in the room while members read over 400 entries from 35 schools. The essays or poems are read a minimum of four times in the preliminary judging event. Eventually the top selections are judged by a prestigious panel from the St. Louis area. Many of the approximately 20 readers have being doing this project for years, and the day was very successful as usual.

Thank you to veteran volunteers Marcia Whitson, Liz Cox, Bev Cox, and Cecelia Webber (quickly becoming a veteran) for their extra work on this important day. Updated news to come next month.

Picture the Music Chair Susan Pribble has done a yeoman’s job of assigning members to the various tasks for this popular SVA education program, and has made a conscious effort to train newer volunteers in jobs that experienced members have been doing for years. Training is the secret of helping volunteers evolve into leadership roles on a committee or a team and eventually into Executive Committee positions.

The PTM Awards Ceremony was held on Thursday, February 27. Special thanks to Helen Hume and Jeff Kaplan for creating and completing the slide presentation of the 100 pieces of artwork that was shown before the ceremony. This presentation is a major highlight of the event, and teachers and parents are thrilled when their child’s winning picture is shown high above the stage at Powell Hall.

Powell Hall Opportunities does such a good job under the leadership of Chair Marilyn Gordon that there is almost nothing to talk about. Chair Marge Jurgenson and her loyal volunteers are up front and visible at all Friday Coffee Concerts, and believe you me, they are important. The cheery Boutique Volunteers serve as ambassadors for the STL Symphony as they chat with patrons and offer STL Symphony branded items for sale in the shop. Bus Hosts are getting accustomed to their role in serving as Symphony ambassadors as students, teachers, and chaperones enter Powell Hall from various forms of transportation. They help these visitors move through the maze of guests entering and exiting Powell Hall. Powell Hall Tours will be assisting at several different programs in the coming weeks including: student concerts, Friends Celebration Month events, Express the Music Awards Ceremony, and private tours. Look for a fun article about Tours in this month's Playbill written by Alan Fiddleman.


Gypsy Caravan is moving to The Family Arena in St Charles! This move offers air-conditioned indoor space, level outdoor space, lots of on-site parking, easy highway access and an opportunity to pull guests from both sides of the Missouri River! It is truly a dream location. Now, we need your help to get the word out to prospective vendors and guests about this great new space. We will also need your help when it’s time for us to host this grand event. Save Memorial Day weekend for Gypsy Caravan and look for volunteer opportunities coming soon.

The Parties of Note Pick a Party! is just around the corner, so mark your calendar for Sunday, April 27. We will have great food and entertainment, and of course an incredible selection of parties to select from. You will want to buy tickets to several!

The committee has come up with 28 parties, most are entirely new to the project. Because it is difficult to always find a private home and a host willing to cover the cost of a party we have several parties in terrific venues other than homes. These parties do need underwriting.

Many members of the SVA, including the Executive Committee, have been very generous in underwriting this year and we can't thank them enough. Please think about how you can support this project; maybe get together with some friends to underwrite a party.

The list of parties that still need underwriting is available, if you have any questions, you may contact Anne von der Heydt or Amee Colvin.

There is ONE MORE party for 2014 and you will want to be there! Leonard Slatkin and David Halen will perform together on Friday, April 25 at the Centene Auditorium in Clayton. There will be a wine reception following the concert. The price is only $50 and tickets are going fast! Click here or call 314-534-1700 to reserve yours today.

I want to thank the committee for all their hard work and Amee for her support through the year.


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.

Upcoming Events

Welcome New SVA Friends!
(February 1-28, 2014)
Gerry Hoeffken

New & Recent Member Orientation
Sat, Mar 15, 9am-noon
Centene Center

New & Prospective Member Event
Mon, Mar 31, 7-9pm
Home of Linda & Paul Lee

Express the Music Awards Ceremony
Wed, April 9 at 7pm
Powell Hall

total volunteer hours
contributed (as of 1/31/14)


of SVA members have purchased 2013-2014 season and/or single tickets (as of 11/30/13)