To ensure the continued existence of 
major symphony orchestras in North 
America through volunteerism.
eNEWS August 2022

Dear AMSOV Members,
The year 2022 is very special to AMSOV.  This is the 85th anniversary of AMSOV. Over the last 85 years, AMSOV members have made tremendous contributions to their respective orchestras in education and community engagement resulting in impacts in many sectors of society.
The 43rd Biennial Conference provided us with the opportunity to reflect upon and celebrate our past accomplishments, renew friendships, extend our networks, and celebrate what we, as a professional community, have achieved.
All of us are grateful to the Kennedy Center and the National Symphony Orchestra and its Volunteer Council for the incredible support they have given to make this conference happen.
Thanks to each and every one of you for attending our conference and bringing your expertise to our gathering. You have the vision, the knowledge, and the experience to help us pave our way into the future. You are truly our greatest asset today and tomorrow, and we could not accomplish what we do without your support and leadership.
Let us all continue to stay engaged, keep proactive and help shape the future of AMSOV.
I am humbled, honored, and privileged to assume my new role in AMSOV and with your help, we will succeed in all that we do.
Carmen Stull
President, 2022-2024


Carmen Stull
National Symphony Orchestra

Don Dagenais
Kansas City Symphony
Marena Gault
Dallas Symphony Orchestra

Debra Walker
Toronto Symphony Orchestra

Jeff Huth
Seattle Symphony

Nancy Wagner
Symphony Orchestra

Vikki Sung
Los Angeles Philharmonic

Venise Stuart
Dallas Symphony Orchestra

Debbie Abels
Charlotte Symphony

Delegates and volunteers supporting major orchestras across the United States and Canada gathered in Washington, D.C., June 2-5, for AMSOV’s 43rd Biennial Conference. They enjoyed four days of sharing ideas, learning, listening to beautiful music and seeing the sights of the U.S. capital.

The conference was hosted by the Volunteer Council for the National Symphony Orchestra, with AMSOV Vice President Carmen Stull chairing the event, which took place at the REACH at the Kennedy Center. The conference theme was “The Power of Music Reimagined." This was addressed through unique innovative lenses of the presenters as they shared their knowledge, experiences, and expertise.

Kennedy Center President Deborah Rutter warmly welcomed our group at the Opening Session. She was followed by an illustrious panel of Kennedy Center and National Symphony Orchestra staff and associates, including the NSO’s Composer-in-Residence Carlos Simon; Director of Education Programs and Productions David Kilpatrick; NSO Manager of Community Engagement and Orchestra Projects Michael Mossaad; Assistant Principal Timpanist Scott Christian; and Marketing Manager Kaila Willard. The panel was moderated by Nigel Boon, the NSO’s director of artistic planning. We heard each panelist’s perspective on the challenges of programming orchestral music for the 21st century audience in this post-COVID world.

Dr. Yeou-Cheng Ma was a dynamic presenter. She works with children with developmental disorders at the Kennedy Center of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in Bronx, New York, is medical director of the Mount Vernon (NY) School District and serves as executive director of the Children’s Orchestra Society. She talked about “The Transformative Power of Music” and related several inspirational stories of how music has changed the lives of children her organizations have served. Dr. Ma also entertained us with a video of her and her brother, Yo-Yo Ma, performing as children at a Washington arts fundraiser attended by President Kennedy and former President Eisenhower, with tales of what the two of them most remembered from that performance—including Danny Kaye standing on his head doing an imitation of an orchestra conductor!

We attended a masterful performance by the National Symphony Orchestra of Nino Rota’s Ballet Suite and Borodin’s Symphony No. 2 and Polovtsian Dances conducted by NSO Music Director Gianandrea Noseda. Maestro Noseda engaged the group the following morning in an interesting and fascinating conversation hosted by NSO Executive Director Gary Ginstling.

Over lunch at a historic Washington club, NSO General Manager Genevieve Twomey and NSO Manager of Community Engagement and Orchestra Projects Michael Mossaad spoke about the outreach activities of the NSO. This was followed by roundtable discussions on education, fundraising, and membership retention. The event ended with a brief presentation by Don Dagenais about Kansas City, the host city for the 44th Biennial Conference.

Business sessions continued at the Watergate Hotel, including a review of bylaws and standing rules updates which were approved. The most significant updates are:

  • Dues are now paid annually, rather than biennially.
  • All individual members, including board members, pay $25 per year.
  • Organization memberships are $150 per year.

Members also voted in a new board of directors. Their names and positions are featured in the right rail of this newsletter.

It wasn’t all serious business. Meetings were interspersed with a tour of the Ippakutei Tea House and a lovely lunch at the former residence of the Japanese Ambassador where a string quartet from the NSO played for us; a Happy Hour reception at the Kennedy Center’s REACH; a nighttime tour of Washington, D.C. monuments; a luncheon and tour at the Hillwood Estate, the Marjorie Merriweather Post mansion that is now a museum housing her extensive art collection; and a dinner at the Kennedy Center’s Roof Terrace Restaurant preceding the NSO concert.

The conference was capped off with the AMSOV Gala at a former Beaux-Arts mansion on Embassy Row, now an elegant private club. During the reception, NSO Executive Director Gary Ginstling thanked everyone for coming to the conference and offered his best wishes to AMSOV and the new Board.

It was at this Gala that six member organizations—Charlotte, Cincinnati, Dallas, Houston, Philadelphia, and Toronto—were given AMSOV’s Innovator Award for their groundbreaking ideas. Click here to read details of each of these projects.

The evening was highlighted by a presentation of the President’s pin to former President Sheri Gill, followed by the turning over of the gavel to incoming AMSOV President Carmen Stull by outgoing President Marena Gault. After brief remarks from Carmen and Marena, we were entertained by QuinTango musicians and Tango Brillante DC dancers, in a spirited performance that made us want to get up and join them on the dance floor!

On our last morning at the famed Watergate Hotel where we stayed, a tour was offered of the “Scandal Room”. Most timely, as we were there just days before the 50th anniversary of the break-in at Democratic National Committee headquarters. Others visited the National Museum of African American History, pleased that AMSOV was able to obtain these much sought-after tickets.

For those who were gathered in D.C., enjoy the photos below which will bring back fond memories of our time together. And if you didn’t make it this year but are enticed by what you see and read, mark your calendars now for the next conference: Kansas City, April 18-21, 2024.
Our home for the conference was the REACH, a multi-purpose space on the Kennedy Center grounds.
Philadelphia Delegates in our meeting room at the Kennedy Center's REACH.
Philadelphia delegates settle in to hear conference presenters at The Justice Forum within the REACH.
National Symphony Orchestra and Kennedy Center panelists share their thoughts on Programming Orchestral Music for the 21st Century Audience. From left, NSO Director of Artistic Planning Nigel Boon, moderator of the panel; NSO Marketing Manager Kaila Willard; NSO Manager of Community Engagement and Orchestra Projects Michael Mossaad; NSO Assistant Principal Timpanist Scott Christian; Kennedy Center Composer-in-Residence Carlos Simon; Kennedy Center Director of Education Programs and Productions David Kilpatrick.
D. Yeou-Cheng Ma conference presenter musician teacher and executive director of the Children's Orchestra Society among her many credentials
Presenter Dr. Yeou-Cheng Ma, musician, teacher and executive director of the Children's Orchestra Society among her many credentials.
The REACH at the Kennedy Center L to r Carmen Stull conference chair Gianandrea Noseda National Symphony Orchestra music director Marena Gault AMSOV president Gary Ginstling NSO executive director
At the Reach, from left, Carmen Stull, conference chair and incoming AMSOV president; Gianandrea Noseda, NSO music director; Marena Gault, outgoing AMSOV president; Gary Ginstling, NSO executive director.
Breakout sessions following lunch at an elegant Washington DC club
Breakout discussion groups following lunch at a lovely private club in Washington.
L to r Genevieve Twomey NSO general manager Warren Williams events coordinator who kept us going in the right direction Michael Mossaad NSO manager of community engagement
Our lunch speakers included NSO General Manager Genevieve Twomey, far left, and NSO Manager of Community Engagement and Orchestra Projects Michael Mossaad, second from right. Also pictured are Warren Williams, our guiding shepherd who got us from place to place during the conference, and Eva Salmoiraghi, member of the Volunteer Council for the NSO.
AMSOV conferees at Hillwood Estate a decorative arts museum and former home of Marjorie Merriweather Post
Our trip to the Hillwood Estate, formerly owned by Marjorie Merriweather Post and now a decorative arts museum.
A sampling of Ms. Post's stunning art collection.
Lunch at the Japanese Embassy with a visit to the Teahouse of 100 Years
Lunch hosted by the Japanese Embassy included a visit to the Ippakutei Teahouse, the "Teahouse of 100 Years," built in 1960 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the Japan-U.S. Treaty of Amity and Commerce.
All decked out for our final night Gala at a former Washington Beaux Arts mansion .
All decked out for our Gala dinner the final night of the conference.
QuinTango performs at the Gala dinner.
Gala entertainment was provided by QuinTango.
With thanks to Deborah Brown, Dulce Obias-Manno and Debbie Abels for contributing photographs.

Dues are now payable for the 2022-2023 fiscal year. With recent changes to the dues structure, dues are now paid annually instead of biennially. 

Dues for individual members, including board members, are $25 per year. To pay online, click here: https://form.jotform.com/62677660052155

Dues for organizations are $150 per year. To pay online, click here: https://form.jotform.com/63076656975168

These links include instructions for paying by check, if that is your preference.
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Association of Major Symphony Orchestra Volunteers (AMSOV)