News & Notes - March 2015

From the SVA President

It is nice to be appreciated! The Symphony Volunteer Association is working more and more closely with the STL Symphony staff. We are all busy people, and yet the staff and musicians never miss a chance to help the SVA as needed or thank volunteers for helping them. Musicians and staff members often perform or speak at SVA events. Stagehands recently saved the day for Picture the Music when one person ran to the hardware store and had pins cut for mounting PTM display boards that had mysteriously disappeared. Carolyn Mues, Travis Estes, and Daniel Glen help various committees in the SVA constantly with printed materials and web communications. Jim Tippey thoughtfully gives technical assistance to the SVA with PowerPoint presentations and much more. It was surprising to turn around and then suddenly see Jim wrangling buses at an Education Concert. Needless to say the STL Symphony staff and volunteers are busy people.

Director Laura Dwyer reports that when she meets various staff members or musicians for the first time that they never fail to mention how appreciative they are of the SVA.

I guess the bottom line is that we have a mutual admiration society, and we’re all on the scene to help in any way we can to help make the STL Symphony the world class orchestra that it is.

Do you shop at Schnucks? If so, you can support the STL Symphony every time you pay your grocery bill. Get a free eScrip Community Card at the store and designate the STL Symphony as your preferred organization (Group ID 500006368) by registering your card at 800-931-6258 or by going online. When you check out, just give the card to the cashier and a portion of your grocery bill will be donated to the STL Symphony. 

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


The Winter Membership Meeting will be history by the time you are reading this issue of News & Notes. Suffice it to say the Regular Membership group, Laura Dwyer, and many members of the STL Symphony staff worked very hard to make the event a great way to spend a Saturday morning with fine music, food, and information. Vice Chair Dotti Fischer handled many of the details of Regular Membership for Chair Gigi Kader because of Gigi’s travel and consulting schedule.  Isn’t it nice to have strong backup? Special thanks to Dotti. 

Mark your calendar for our last SVA General Meeting of the season on Friday, May 8.  It will be a luncheon at a very special location to be announced by Regular Membership soon.

Thank you to VP Anne Carman for working with the Regular and New and Prospective Membership committees to support this wing of the three major SVA areas: Membership, Education, and Fundraising.

The printed and online SVA Membership Directory are two of the greatest tools we have to offer SVA members because we can contact members so easily. Do you have your latest directory?

If you did not receive your 2014-2015 Membership Directory, please stop by the Powell Hall Boutique (open one hour before concerts and at intermission).

As of September 1, 2014, the minimum gift to the Friends of the Symphony which includes  SVA membership is $75.  Is your membership up to date?


By the time you are reading about Picture the Music, the planning and preparation for this major event will be largely accomplished and the Award Ceremony held in the foyer and auditorium of Powell Hall. The photos taken at this event by the SVA Photography Team under the leadership of Margaret Lahrmann are priceless.

PTM has a truly dedicated group of volunteers who have specialized areas where they prefer to work. This year Chair and Vice Chair Janice Seele and Judy Nedwek and VP of Education Gerry Frankenfeld have worked very hard to make the 25th year of PTM memorable. The commemorative pins given to each student are a true childhood keepsake of being in PTM’s top 100 winners selected from over 13,000 pictures created by children ages 5 through 12.  Picture the Music continues to be a great event for students, teachers, families, volunteers, and the general public. Thank you, PTM Committee.

From March 10 through April 23, the artwork will be displayed at Plaza Frontenac, St. Peters, Cultural Arts Centre; Schlafly Library, and the Magic House. Contact Janice Seele if you want to join this well-run committee.

You just have to be at a Tiny Tunes Concert to see how adorable the preschoolers are as they arrive at Powell Hall in every imaginable hat, mittens, and coats, and all very eager to see what will take place in the magical kingdom of Powell Hall. Instrument Playground volunteers demonstrate and give the young students the opportunity to touch and/or play many of the instruments in the four families of the orchestra.  Flutist Fred Tompkins has joined the IP committee and creates a lot of excitement as he demonstrates his bass flute. Many guests and IP members have never seen or even heard this beautiful instrument. IP often needs 10 volunteers on their school visits and for Family and Tiny Tunes Concerts. Contact Jeff Kaplan if you would like to join this really fun committee. 

Winter finally hit St. Louis, but the SVA Bus Ambassadors were on the job throughout February to help greet hundreds of students as they arrived at Powell Hall to attend a wonderful program. The last student concert of the year on Thursday, May 14 should literally be a more heartwarming and handwarming experience! Contact  Marilyn Gordon if you would like to get involved.

Having the STL Symphony win its 7th Grammy® Award on Sunday, February 8 was a very exciting event for Boutique volunteers. The winning recording of John Adams’ City Noir went flying off the shelves immediately that day.  There is nothing like winning a Grammy to pep up sales! Contact Ellen and Dennis Brommelhorst if you would like to get involved. Every fall there is a special kickoff training session for volunteers. New members who sign up during the season  are given one-on-one training. You are also provided with a ticket to attend the concert if seats are available.


The final 2014-2015 Parties of Note event, Secrets of the Chorus, was held on Saturday, February 21. It is hard to beat STL Symphony Chorus Amy Kaiser at storytelling and teaching. She shared many interesting facts about the STL Symphony Chorus in a very historical setting in the Central West End. 

Thank you to all chairs, vice chairs, and committee members who have created and run one of the most popular SVA committees ever. Everyone has their favorite PON event, and a story to tell about it. Watching hundreds of trumpeter swans come in for a landing at dusk on the wetlands of the Mississippi in West Alton was a life experience, but then there was...and on and on. Thank you to former chairs Anne von der Heydt and Linda Lee for arranging 24 glorious parties for 2014-2015 and for current chairs Jean Saunders and Helga Lunsford for wrapping up the season.  Although PON is going on hiatus, look for many special STL Symphony and SVA events in the year ahead.

The Gypsy Caravan Steering Committee meets monthly with each member choosing an area where they wish to work: Shopping Guide; Food Vendors; Contracts; Volunteers; Vendor Check-In, Parking, and on and on, it takes a village. In recent years a shopping guide has been created, so that shoppers can have a better chance of locating a favorite vendor they wish to find. Ads are sold for this booklet and in addition it has become a tradition for a donation from Friends of Gypsy (FOG) to be requested of SVA members. You will already have received a request by email to ask if you are interested in making a donation to the 43rd year of Gypsy. FOG members who contribute $20 will be listed in the Shopper’s Guide. Donations of more than $20 are highlighted in special type. Last year between the FOG donations and ads, the production of the guide was more than covered.  If you would like to be a FOG, contact Sara Fabick.

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

Upcoming Events

Express the Music Work Party
Thurs, March 19, 12:00-2:00pm
Centene Center

Gypsy Steering Committee Meeting
Thurs, March 19, 4:30-6:00pm
Home of Jane and Kent McNeil

SVA Executive Committee
Thurs, March 26, 10:30am-12:00pm; Lunch to follow
Centene Center

SVA Board Meeting
Thurs, April 9, 11:15am-1:15pm
Light lunch served; President Elect attends
Centene Center

STL Symphony Coffee Concert

Friday, April 10, 10:30am
Powell Hall



total volunteer hours
contributed during the 2014/15 season (as of 2/24/15).