The Williamsburg Symphony Orchestra and WSO League sponsored a live Coffee and Quartet concert featuring Akemi and Friends on July 1, 2021 at Williamsburg Regional Library. The one-hour concert was happily received by an audience so ready for live music and visiting with friends over coffee and sweets.
Again this year, the League Annual Meeting was held via zoom.
In his President’s Report, Ken Mitchell, League President, recapped activities for the 2020-2021year. Although COVID-19 continued to negatively affect volunteer and fundraising activities, the League maintained its commitment to the orchestra. Members continued to provide volunteer hours. Sue Klepac worked in the Symphony Office and helped Carolyn Keurajian, the orchestra’s executive director, with hotel and food arrangements for the musicians for the virtual recording sessions, as well as she and Dave maintain the Instruments for Kids inventory for the WSO. One incredibly important task that Sue has graciously undertaken is re-assigning seats for the season ticket holders due to the new Chapel seating configuration. Cindy Southworth is assisting with this complicated process. Another big job is making the logistical arrangements for return to in-person musical performances for2021-2022, including the opportunity to see the last three finalists for the position of Music Director.
The League hosted two EA events this year. The wildly popular Stay Away “non-event”, and Lavender Farms tou rand picnic lunch, netting $4,300. Plans are underway for the upcoming year with the Miss Hampton boat cruise and dinner confirmed for September 19, 2021.
Own Your Own Orchestra has netted more than $10,000 to date, a record for this activity.
The Annual Gala Dinner, twice postponed due to COVID-19, has been rescheduled for Sunday, November 7,at Kingsmill Resort. Current registrations will be honored, and new registrations are available on the League Website. There will be a renewed campaign in August.
The financial report showed the League netted almost $22,000 and contributed $23,000 to the orchestra.
Ken pointed out many administrative and website improvements, including the ability to accept online credit card payments for some activities with more to follow. An audit of the League’s financial records found no problems.
Changes in the League's bylaws were approved by the membership. New Directors elected were for first 3-year term Sam Eure, Bonnie Predd, Stephen Seals; second 3-year term Georgianna Avioli, Joan Brokenbrough, Sue Klepac, and Ken Mitchell; and third3-year term Doug Wood.
Directors retiring and recognized for many years of service were Cecelia Adolphi, Cathy Reed, and Lynda Sharrett. Recognized for $1,000 contributions to Own Your Own Orchestra were Jim Mullins (2020) and Nancy & Dennis Pillsbury (2021). These generous donors will have a chance to meet the conductor and receive a special baton during the upcoming season.
May 19 was a gorgeous day for the first Encore Affair of the year. 55 people visited Sweethaven Lavender Farm on Jolly Pond Road. We were met by the owner, Kerry Messer, who educated us on "all things lavender". We were invited to wander into the fragrant fields to pick our own lavender bouquet to take home, then enjoyed a wonderful picnic lunch, complete with a lavender beverage and a lavender brownie - delicious. Of course, there was time to visit the shop to take home some lavender treasures!
Twenty-seven excited attendees signed on for an epic culinary journey through time and around the world Sunday evening. The setting for their experience was the latest Encore Affairs event presented by the Williamsburg Symphony Orchestra League at A Chef’s Kitchen on Prince George Street in Williamsburg. The sound of live piano music drifted through the dining area as the evening began with sparkling wine and hors d’oeuvres as attendees socialized with friends new and old.
Chef John Gonzales began his presentation by expertly explaining how many of today’s cooking ingredients came from other times and from other lands. From corn meal to salt, the building blocks of tasty and healthy dishes can be sourced locally these days as recommended by Chef Gonzales. He and his sous chef, Nick Allen, then demonstrated their skills, preparing and cooking with attention to detail. Each dish was then quickly served to eager diners. Paired with several fine wines from his own store, the five-course meal provided a dining experience to remember. A helpful booklet was provided which lists ingredients for each course accompanied by preparation and cooking instructions.
A highlight of the evening came after a questioner asked about the chefs’ worst experience at the kitchen. Several hilarious scenarios were recounted which left delighted listeners wiping away tears of laughter. Chef Gonzales donates his time and that of his sous-chef and server for this event. He is a generous and long-time supporter of both the Orchestra and the League.
This was a wonderful visit, tour and lunch at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA) on a lovely day in late October. Beginning with a comfortable bus ride to the museum, the group had a terrific guided tour of the museum highlights, a visit to the featured artist Edward Hopper exhibit, and then an exquisite private lunch in the famous Marble Hall in the museum. This great event was sponsored by Doug and Janis Wood, Paul Try and Linda Kligman-Try, and was superbly organized by Doug Wood. The tour covered some unique pieces exhibited by VMFA, such as, one of just two full-length statues of Roman Emperor Caligula, five of the only 52 imperial Fabergé Eggs, and a complete Roman mosaic floor from Antioch in Syria. This was an “Affair to Remember”.