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Friends of the Salisbury Symphony to host annual roundtable conference

Submitted by Ann Meredith

Friends of the Salisbury Symphony salute the orchestra’s 50th anniversary by welcoming the annual Roundtable meeting of the Southeastern Orchestra Volunteer Association (SOVA). Sixty-five members representing 10 symphony volunteer fundraising organizations in Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina arrive in Salisbury in mid-October to attend.

Raising funds for local symphonies primarily relies on the work of volunteers, who bring an ever-changing mix of inventiveness, hard work, and chutzpah to the challenge. The work can be as grueling and frustrating as it is worthwhile, especially when cultural priorities are put at risk during uncertain economic or political times.

This year’s Roundtable “All Aboard” theme focuses on managing volunteer boards and members, developing social media skills and successful fundraising activities.

In support of ongoing efforts by the City to increase tourism, the “Friends” have produced the two-day conference to showcase local businesses, attractions and talent. Brien Lewis, President of Catawba College in Salisbury, presents on the first day, speaking on “Maximizing Board Effectiveness – Without Burning Out Your Board.” Joining him is Darlene Ball, a member of Catawba’s Board of Trustees since 1999 and its present chair, to provide the volunteer’s perspective and participate in the session’s Q&A.

On the second day, Marjorie Bell, a motivational speaker and educator from Charlotte, NC, addresses “Managing Your Volunteers, With Consistency, Not Chaos.” The Rowan Youth Orchestra will perform during one evening event.

Conference meetings will be held at First Presbyterian Church, located in the West Square Historic District adjacent to downtown shops. A closer glimpse of historic downtown Salisbury will be highlighted during a sunset trolley tour. To encourage return trips by conference attendees, even the traditional conference takeaway – a gift bag – has been upgraded with local products, information on destinations of interest in Rowan County from vineyards to Civil War memorials, plus publications such as the latest issue of the high-end Salisbury magazine.

The mission of Friends of the Symphony (formerly The Salisbury Symphony Guild) is to promote and support the Salisbury-Rowan Symphony Society and its music education opportunities. The mission is carried out through financial gifts, fundraising events, supporting education programs and promoting the Symphony throughout the community.

The Southeastern Orchestra Volunteer Association is a unique networking and support organization for symphony orchestra volunteer groups.

Contact: Kathleen Dunn, chair, Roundtable 2016, 703.304.4981 or kthlndunn28@gmail.com or Ann Meredith, chair, Local Arrangements, 704.645.8300 or ameredith1785@att.net

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