Join the Guild, Become Part of a Legacy
The Asheville Symphony Guild is a volunteer organization which raises funds in support of our outstanding Asheville Symphony Orchestra. The Guild also focuses on music education for the young people in our community.
Membership in the Asheville Symphony Guild is fun and affordable, providing numerous ways to contribute to the community, share your love of music, touch the lives of children and establish and share friendship with others. Please join us and become part of the legacy!
Why Join the Asheville Symphony Guild?
- become a valued partner in supporting the Asheville Symphony, its commitment to the community and educational outreach.
- know that you are educating children as they learn about classical music and symphonic instruments. Protect the future of the music we love!
- experience deep satisfaction as you share your talents and skills while volunteering in our programs.
- establish new friendships and strengthen existing relationships, all while serving the community.
Exclusive Benefits for Guild Members
- Exclusive access to purchase the great Musical Feast parties 3 weeks before anyone else.
- An opportunity to attend a Saturday morning Symphony rehearsal to see how the concert is put together for that evening.
- Special Guild Programs, generally held on the Thursday before the concert.
- The September Guild Potluck
- The annual Guild Gathering in May
- The Asheville Symphony Guild is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Membership fees are fully tax deductible since no tangible goods or services are received in exchange.
The Guild provides support in three ways:
- Musical Feasts. These wonderful parties/events/ happenings provide an opportunity to make friends, enjoy great music and share fabulous meals together. And all the money raised goes to support our Symphony. The Feasts are planned, hosted and paid for by Guild members.
- Music in the Schools. The Guild-sponsored Music in the Schools Program provides music education programs to all Buncombe County and Asheville City second, third, fourth, and fifth graders. These programs introduce, educate and foster the love of music in elementary school children.
- Music Ambassadors. Our Music Ambassadors volunteer to help at activities and events sponsored by both the Guild and the Asheville Symphony.
Since its founding, the Guild has provided over $1 million to support the Asheville Symphony Orchestra.
The Guild was founded by Mimi Cecil and Charlotte Lunsford in 1965 to provide financial support to the Asheville Symphony Orchestra.
2021-2022 Asheville Symphony Guild Board
Sue Luther serves as President of the Guild. The President manages the affairs of the Guild, presides at Board meetings and programs, serves as an ex-officio member of all committees and works with the Treasurer on all financial matters. The Guild President is also a voting member of the Asheville Symphony Board and is a liaison between the two Boards.
Betty Fox serves as the President-elect. She assists the President and, in the absence of the President, assumes the duties of that office. The President-Elect works together with the President to communicate with all Guild members via eblasts, postcard mailings, and keeping the website up-to-date.
Robin Harben serves as Vice-President. In this role she assists the President and the Guild with various functions, as needed. In particular, she
organizes the annual fall potluck to open the season and the spring
luncheon which takes place in conjunction with the annual meeting.
Sylvia Cassel serves as Recording Secretary. In this position Sylvia takes the minutes of all Guild Board meetings and the annual meeting. She distributes the minutes to all Board officers and committee chairpersons and maintains a complete record of each year’s minutes. These minutes are now being posted on the Guild website for all members to read.
Honey Solomon serves as Corresponding Secretary. The Corresponding Secretary is responsible for acknowledging donations, commemorating celebrations, recognizing losses, and serving on ad hoc committees in promoting the goals of the ASO Guild.
Sarah Van Gunten serves as Past-President. She serves as an advisor to the President and the Board. Over the summer she updates the website with all new information and then periodically checks the website for up-to-date accuracy. The President may assign other duties as needed.
Paula Arsenault serves as Treasurer. In this role she oversees all financial transactions and reports to the Guild Board as the year progresses. She also prepares the annual budget with input from all Board members.
Music in the Schools Committee
Sarah Reincke and Nan Murphy are the co-chairs of the Music in the Schools Committee. This committee coordinates the very important education outreach component of the Guild’s work in the community.
Sarah has worked with artist Cactus (or 23 Skidoo) this past year as he developed a virtual program that will bring an exiting new experience to all second – fifth graders in the city and county. Teachers will be able to incorporate it into their lesson plans and use it throughout the year.
Nan will coordinate the in-person concerts in all of the Asheville City and Buncombe County schools. Three ensembles of Asheville Symphony Orchestra members-strings, brass, and woodwinds- travel to the schools to introduce young students to live classical music, their instruments, and generally engage the kids in an interactive experience not to be forgotten.
Musical Feasts Committee
Rhonda Grimes chairs the Musical Feast Committee. She will head a team of fellow Guild members as together they plan the major fundraising program for the Guild. As many as 20-25 events will be organized in many homes and venues around town, featuring interesting musicians, speakers, and outdoor activities – and, of course, wonderful food! Due to the generosity of numerous hosts throughout the year, the proceeds of the Feasts go entirely to support the Asheville Symphony Orchestra and its programs.
Sharron Davis heads up the Membership Committee. She will organize the annual renewal and new member campaign and will invite members to help her “advertise” the Guild at our table at the symphony concerts and OLLI presentations on the Fridays before each Symphony concert.
Sarah Van Gunten heads up the committee to present a series of programs throughout the year. Generally held in the week before the Symphony concert, these programs are intended to enhance the Symphony concert experience by presenting interesting and educational insights into music to be featured in each concert.
Nancy Gettys and Pam Prosser provide hospitality at Guild programs and at the OLLI pre-symphony talks. Look for various goodies, including cookies from Well-Bread Bakery, as we get together throughout the year.
Executive Director – Daniel Crupi