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NEWS & NOTES – May 2022

The SVA’s News and Notes reviews the previous quarter’s accomplishments and provides a preview of activities to come. Comments and suggestions are welcome at SVACommunications@slso.org. Photo above: recruiting new SVA President Kent McNeil with PTM winners and  Award Ceremony MC Maria Ellis.

Notes from the President:
COVID may have helped the SVA discover something good. On April 21, 2022, we had our annual “Thank you” from SLSO. Instead of our usual Winter Heat, we had a Spring Fling. All who attended agreed that it was so much better not having to brave the cold or snowy weather. We have suggested that it become a new tradition. The open bar and extensive hors d ‘oeuvres were enjoyable as we listened to and talked with SLSO musicians, Will James, Principal Percussion, andAlan Stewart, Associate Principal Percussion. Vick Boutwell, SLSO Vice President of Communications, gave a great overview of the adventure through music that the SLSO and Stéphane Denève have planned for the 2022/23 season. When we left, no one had to find their coats and hats and the sun was still shining. 

At Winter Heat we usually share many upcoming events and programs. At this year’s Spring Fling, we were looking back on the many successes and fun programs in which we participated this season. You can read about this in the last News and Notes of the 2021/22 season.  

In early May, we had two more fun programs to attend. The first, An Evening with Amy Kaiser on May 5. Janice and Steve Seele’s home provided a delightful intimate setting for celebrating Amy Kaiser’s amazing career and to let her know how much she has meant to each of us and the SVA. 

Then on Saturday, May 6, we had the special pleasure of having Marie-Hélène Bernard and Stéphane Denève as our guest speakers for our Spring Membership Luncheon at the Angad Hotel. 

We have a packed News and Notes for you to catch up on everything that program teams and volunteers have been doing.  I look forward to being with you at our season’s final SVA Board Meeting on June 8, 2022.   

Kent McNeil 

Feature Article:  Get to Know Yoli Alovar 

Dr. Yolanda Alovor (known to one and all as "Yoli") was named the SLSO’s Vice President for External Affairs and Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, effective January 17, 2022. In this role, Yoli works closely with President and CEO Marie-Hélène Bernard to oversee the institution's commitment to EDI, ensure effective communications, and provide strategic guidance to elevate the profile of the institution locally, nationally, and globally. 

“The St. Louis Symphony Orchestra has always been a treasured memory of my childhood. I remember being so intrigued by the splendor of Powell Hall and the orchestra. As an elementary student, I benefited greatly from the annual free concerts offered to young music enthusiasts. As we sat together in Powell Hall, it no longer mattered what zip code we grew up in or even our level of exposure to classical music. On this day, we were all members of the SLSO family. We were one community. We all belonged. 

Fostering that sense of belonging has remained the center of my philosophy throughout my professional career. My journey has taken me far and connected me with inspirational leaders who have provided me with opportunities that I could never imagine. My fond memories of the SLSO remind me that music is a common language that binds us as human beings. It is a catalyst that often is at the heart oftransformational change. Cultivating a sense of belonging through music that connects our humanity iswhat I hope to help build upon at the SLSO.” 

A results-oriented leader, Yoli consistently demonstrates the ability to establish rapport and connect with diverse constituencies at all levels in public and private. With a history of working with top global behavioral economists and researchers, she has crafted strategies that encourage behavior change rooted in brain sciences, neuroplasticity (“growth mindset”), and neuro-psychological principles to ensure long-term success and sustainability of quantifiable change. 

In addition, she has more than ten years of experience in conducting studies in educational psychology to create interventions and learning strategies designed to improve educational outcomes for underrepresented minorities. As a result, she has made substantial gains in developing the infrastructure necessary for academic sustainability, including transformational changes in outreach, community-based partnerships, rebranding of educational practices, and communication.  

Yoli holds a Ph.D. in Educational Research from the University of Missouri-St. Louis and recently completed postdoctoral training at the University of California, Berkeley's Intercultural Leadership Program Global DEI Practitioner Institute. She has returned to her hometown of St. Louis where her extended family and son, a student at Missouri University of Science and Technology, reside. 


Meetings and Events
The Meeting and Events Committee had a successful Membership Meeting in March at Meadowbrook Country Club featuring Shawn Weil and Erin Schreiber. As of this writing, we are looking forward to the May Membership Meeting to wrap up the year. We'll be at the Angad Arts Hotel just south of Powell Hall for a luncheon and program featuring our Music Director, Stephane Denève. 

New and Prospective 
Lynda Lieberman and Suzanne Seibel represented the SVA at the Friday, April 8, Open Rehearsal and had the opportunity to speak to several guests who wanted to learn more about the Symphony Volunteer Association. Many thanks to Lynda and Suzanne! We are in the process of creating a new online membership form on the SVA page of the SLSO website which will make it easier to join. Our committee has been busy making contacts and following up on names given to us by all of you. We are proud to welcome our new SVA members who joined this past year, and I hope we will be able to greet them in person at our upcoming final Membership Luncheon on Friday, May 6: Patti Bader, Dianna Barron, Jim Cooper, Arlene Caplan and Joseph Dripodi, Judi and Thomas Crouch, Lynda Lieberman, Marcia Moskowitz, Elaine Pontious, Larry Schultz, Russ Vanderbeek, Karen Weaver, Mary Kay Wolfe, and Marcia Moskowitz. 

The Discovery Committee, working with the SLSO, has established new levels of giving which we hope will attract members of all ages:  
Friends - $75 and up for members 40 years and older  
Supporters - $25 and up for members 39 years and younger  
Donations are waived for college students 18 and older (voluntary donations are welcome, of course). Our goal is to continue bringing in new members and explore new outreach strategies. We welcome any and all of your suggestions. 

One last thought…To all of you, our BEST recruiters: Wouldn’t it be fun to volunteer alongside a friend of yours? Why not ask them to join you next time you greet smiling faces at the buses or serve coffee and donuts at a concert? (AND they get a free ticket!) Let them feel the joy of giving back to our community in such a meaningful way by supporting our SLSO, a St. Louis treasure!  

Phyllis Traub, New and Prospective Chair 
Marilyn Humiston, New and Prospective Vice Chair 

With SVA events opening up, the Photography Group has been front and center capturing events that we have not been able to have for two years. Those include the Educational Concerts, Express the Music, and Picture the Music. The group is having fun returning to normal. Also, everyone is learning to load their own photos into Flickr, which means they are getting into our account in a more timely manner. During this year we have added two photographers to the group: Donald Pearline and Dave Propper. And we have the potential for adding another photographer to the group.  

It’s nice to be getting back to normal and it’s great photographing so many of the children coming to Powell Hall for the first time.  

Pam Belloli - Photography Chair 


One and Done 
One and Done had a good December with the holiday concerts. The two at Lindenwood were new this year. They were well-attended and patrons mentioned how glad they were that the SLSO was performing in St. Charles. 

As for as 2022, One and Done has the assignment to host the Symphony Shuttles. January’s has been completed. Hopefully the remaining ones (February, March, April) will be a go.  

At present we are on hold waiting for new assignments. 
Karen Silsby, Chairperson 

Express the Music  

Express the Music Celebrated a Live Awards Ceremony!