News & Notes - May 2015

From the SVA President

As I was preparing my final News & Notes and looking forward to the St. Louis Symphony's joyous 135th Anniversary Celebration, I felt a great sense of accomplishment for all that we have achieved in the last two years. Every committee and team has completed or is wrapping up its final commitments. I have highest praise for the retiring SVA board chairs, vice chairs and team leaders for the work that they have done. Without your guidance the SVA could not operate. Without your committees and teams of volunteers that work for you, we could not reach our goals. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for the two-year whirl. It has been a definite highlight in the Fabick household. Best of all, as president of the SVA it is very comforting to know that my successor, Janice Seele, and her new SVA Board, will bring fresh new ideas and management skills to the SVA. Friends and volunteers now ask me, “What will you do now?” Short answer: “Volunteer for the STL Symphony, of course—what’s not to like!”


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


By the time you receive this newsletter we will have held our Spring Membership Meeting on Friday, May 8, at The Saint Louis Woman’s Club with the new President & CEO of the STL Symphony, Marie-Hélène Bernard, as the keynote speaker. Thank you to Marie-Hélène for taking time in her busy schedule to make the SVA a part of her visit as we elected our new President of the SVA, Janice Seele, and Board for the STL Symphony's 2015-2016 Season. Thank you to the Regular Membership group under the leadership of VP Anne Carman and to Regular Vice Chair Dotti Fischer for leading this special event.

The New & Prospective Member Event planned for Tuesday, April 28, was canceled and will be held as early as possible this fall. Our newest members will be contacted personally before this meeting and be apprised of the various committees and teams in the SVA, so they can be assured of getting invitations to the meet & greets and/or training meetings held in late August and early fall for every committee and team.

Members who have joined the SVA in the last two to three years will also be invited to the New & Prospective Members Event in the fall if they are interested in more information about the operations of the SVA.

Encouraging your committee and teams to report all of their volunteer hours is critical at this time of year as we wrap up the season. We have 6,103 hours recorded through April 2015, which is undoubtedly not a good reflection of actual hours that have been volunteered. Sometimes volunteers are disappointed when they don’t receive recognition at the Fall Membership Meeting for 50 hours or more of service because they know they have worked those hours. It is imperative that we account for the valuable time that our volunteers give. This information is used in grant writing.  Reports such as this also help the SVA Nominating Committee recognize members who should be asked to become more involved in leadership roles. Kathy Borges’ records of volunteer hours are reliable, but she can’t record what she doesn’t receive.  Everything counts—planning time, desk time, driving time and actual volunteering. Have you reported your hours? Don’t be bashful.

Please check the printed Membership Directory and the online version to see if your entry is correct. Report necessary changes to Director Laura Dwyer. Only you can make this Directory correct. 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?


Express the Music’s 18th Annual Award Ceremony was held on Wednesday, April 16, with a delighted group of students, family, friends and volunteers in attendance. Grand Center made free parking available for our guests. Thank you to the SVA Tour Team for graciously offering Powell Hall tours to more than 100 guests before the event.

Out of 1,800 entries, 53 finalists were chosen, which included essays, poems and shorts stories from students in both the Junior and Senior Divisions. Thank you to Chair Kathryn Snodgrass and Vice Chair Susan Hoffman for their leadership of this important SVA educational program. Thank you to Interim Co-President/CEO and Vice President for Development John Easley, who provided words of welcome at the ceremony. Thank you to the STL Symphony's VP of External Affairs Adam Crane for serving as Master of Ceremonies in his own inimical fashion.  Hank Conard (Director, Boeing ECF), whose grant makes both Picture the Music and Express the Music possible, explained that Boeing employees specifically choose which organizations to support from a wide range of projects in the St. Louis area, and their donations come right from their paychecks. Mr. Conard congratulated each of the honorees personally and stayed after the program to greet students and their families. Many volunteers helped to make this program a success.

The Youth Orchestra (YO) reception on Friday, April 24, was a nice event. YO manager Jessica Ingraham planned a rehearsal and movie night for the group, and VP of Education Gerry Frankenfeld was in charge of this event which was held the night before their side-by-side rehearsal with the STL Symphony. Volunteers donated delicious homemade cookies and the remaining movie snacks were purchased. You can just imagine how cordial this group of young people are, and they seemed delighted with the refreshments. Several SVA volunteers came out to greet the musicians. What fun!


You just have to be a part of the Gypsy Caravan Steering Committee to see how the process works. Calling them a band of gypies may just not be a very good description because this committee is made of people with banking backgrounds, data processing skills, business management background, nonprofit planning experience, engineering skills, problem solving ability, purchasing background, fundraising experience and mailing expertise. I often quote Margaret Lahrmann who told me, “You will learn more being a chair in the SVA than you have ever learned before in your life!” I believe that Gypsy is a perfect example of what Margaret said. The cooperation between the STL Symphony staff and the SVA leadership and the problem solving and the decision making is a sight to behold. Kudos to Jane and Kent McNeil, Bev Cox and Laura Dwyer—these four get the highest marks with at least 30 more volunteers standing right behind them.

Want to volunteer? Gypsy Vice Chair Bev Cox has made this process easy. Bev is looking for well over 200 volunteers to help on the weekend of the event. Click here to volunteer for Gypsy.

Donations from Friends of Gypsy (FOG) have now exceeded $2,000. Donations poured in after the last issue of News & Notes, so with the ads we should be able to well cover the cost of printing. The ads group has worked equally hard to achieve their goals. 

It is too late to get your name printed with donors in the program, but if you would still like to be a FOG, and help us reach our original goal of $2,400, print this form and return by mail. By the way, the FOG program originally designed by former SVA President Becky Brown is strictly an SVA project. Because Gypsy Caravan is our major fundraiser, the feeling is that members who are not available to help the day at the event itself can help in this way. Of course, some do both. Thank you from the entire Gypsy Caravan Steering Committee for your generous contributions.

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

Cocktail Party
(Staff and Board; Retiring/New Team Leaders)
May 13, 4:30-6:30pm
Centene Center

Education Concert
(Bus Ambassadors)
May 14, 9:30 and 11:30am
Powell Hall

43rd Annual Gypsy Caravan
May 25, 7am-5pm
The Family Arena

SVA Board and Team Leader Transitional Meeting
June 11, 11:15am-1:15pm
Centene Center


total volunteer hours
contributed during the 2014/15 season (as of 4/23/15).