News and Notes - November 2018


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News and Notes to be Published Quarterly – In an effort to align our SVA publicity with our activities, we've discovered that we need to separate the reporting of what we've accomplished from the predicting of what we'll do going forward. Deadlines being what they are, News and Notes cannot do the latter, but it sure can do the former. So here's what we'll do:

• News and Notes will feature descriptions and photos of what we've done during the previous three months, plus "save the date" information about well-established upcoming events, like our General Membership meetings. It will be published quarterly, in early February, May, August, and November.

• I'll send out a weekly (almost) email, as I do now, that will contain an "SLSO In The News" section and an "SVA Heads Up" section. That's where to look for committee information, calls for help, and other timely information.

I'm hoping that this change will make News and Notes more relevant and will enable everyone to participate in the events and activities that interest them.

SVA Fall Membership Meeting – Heartfelt thanks to our skilled Membership Committee, led by Phyllis Traub and Susanne Mertens, for our hugely successful Fall Membership Meeting on October 4. Specifically in charge of this event were Anna Lea Kerckhoff, Barb Ferman, Margie Franz, and Linda Seibert. This year, we were at the MAC-West, and were treated to a musical performance by the Ethos Duo, composed of Youth Orchestra musicians Theo Bockhorst and Ethan Mayer. Their wonderful performance, poise, and enthusiasm delighted the 85 attendees. Keynote speakers were Maureen Byrne, Senior Director, Education and Community Partnerships, and Jessica Ingraham, Director of Education. They shared the SLSO's huge education efforts and made it clear that the SVA is integral to their success.  Jessica also encouraged more volunteers to join the Instrument Playground and Education Ambassadors committees, given their tremendous impact on the students they serve. Congratulations to the entire committee.

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You won't want to miss our two remaining General Membership Meetings, so mark your clendars:

• Saturday, March 9, Brunch at Greenbriar Hills Country Club

• Friday, May 10, Spring luncheon at the St. Louis Club in Clayton

SVA Hosts Welcome-Back Brunch for Musicians – On Thursday, September 20, the Celebrations Team (currently part of the Discovery Committee, but soon to join the appropriate committee) hosted a brunch before the first rehearsal of the Subscription Season concerts. What a splash we made – the orchestra was abuzz about it during the rehearsal (according to very reliable sources!)  We had a visit and a big thank-you from both CEO Marie-Hélène Bernard and Concert Master David Halen. Thanks to all who participated, whether you donated food or money or just showed up to say hello.

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Ambassadors Welcome Opening Weekend Patrons – In an event conceived by the Discovery Committee and expertly carried out by our Ambassador Committee, led by Sara Fabick and Gerry Frankenfeld, SVA volunteers showed up in force, wearing red carnations, to welcome and assist arriving patrons for both Opening Weekend concerts, which featured Resident Conductor Gemma New and a spectacular opening program.  Once again, we got enthusiastic feedback, both from the patrons we greeted and from the staff.  Take a look:

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Tours Kick-off – Tours Team Lead Becky Brown hosted a kickoff meeting and training session for her tour guides, providing a solid foundation for our expanded tours season.  Last year, we provided tours for almost 2,100 people, and this year promises to be even busier.  Internally, Ambassador Chair Sara Fabick is working with Becky to arrange a tour for the Ambassadors as part of their overall familiarization with the SLSO.  We can always use more tour guides, so please get in touch with Becky at if you're interested.

Volunteers Needed – Three committees whose portfolio is growing need more volunteers soon! If you attended our Fall Dinner, you know how important these committees and teams are, so please join in. They are:

• Instrument Playground, led by John Malvin and Jim Schindler, at

• Education Ambassadors, known to veteran SVA members as Bus Hosts, led by Elizabeth Crosby, at We really need more people here, as Jessica told us at the Fall Dinner. Even if you can support only one day, please join us!

• Group Hosts, led by Sherry Moschner, at  This is a new team, supporting Group Sales Associate Director Dawn Berkbigler, and it works on Coffee Concert Fridays.  We need a few additional members to make this work well.


All the best,

Jeff Kaplan
President, St. Louis Symphony Volunteer Association
c: 610-613-8527