About the Akron Symphony Orchestra
Widely recognized for musical excellence and performance versatility, the Akron Symphony Orchestra is committed to enhancing the quality of life of our community through educational and musical excellence.
About the Akron Symphony Orchestra Details
For more than 60 years, the Akron Symphony Orchestra has been a driving musical force throughout Greater Akron.
The Akron Symphony Orchestra is operated by the Greater Akron Musical Association (GAMA). GAMA’s vision is to be embraced and sustained as a community treasure that provides a welcoming environment for all people to experience great music. This vision is realized by operating the Akron Symphony Orchestra, Akron Youth Orchestras, Akron Symphony Chorus, and numerous special outreach and educational programs.
The Akron Symphony Orchestra began in 1949 when Mabel Lamborn Graham received $500 as “seed money” from the publisher of the Akron Beacon Journal with the instruction to begin raising money for a professional, union orchestra. After three years of intense fundraising, spearheaded by Mrs. Graham and other dedicated volunteers, the Akron Symphony’s Classic Series was established in the organization’s first season in 1953 to provide concerts performed by professional musicians of the highest caliber. Guest conductors and soloists of regional and national stature have been an integral part of the Classic Series since its onset, and remain a high priority for the Symphony.
GAMA Strategic Plan
The Mission of the Greater Akron Musical Association is to enhance the quality of life of our community through education and musical excellence.
GAMA Strategic Plan Details
The Greater Akron Musical Association is embraced and sustained as a community treasure that provides a welcoming environment for all people to experience great music.
GAMA will maintain and enhance its tradition of outstanding artistic quality and continually improve upon its reputation as a critically acclaimed organization.
- Increase artistic excellence in measurable ways.
- Provide imaginative and compelling programming.
- Support a full spectrum of educational programs.
- Expand community engagement activities.
- Continue to improve upon the GAMA’s reputation locally.
GAMA will increase its relevance to and be known for bringing value to the Greater Akron community while expanding its reach throughout the region.
- Every interaction between GAMA and its patrons will be designed to create the most satisfying “Symphony Experience”.
- The broader community’s perception of the value that GAMA brings will be enhanced and measured.
- Stakeholder participation and interaction with GAMA will be measurably increased.
GAMA will be a resource for music education and a driving force for enlightening the public about symphonic music.
- Increase the impact and reach of the overall organization through the youth orchestras.
- Enhance the broader community’s perception of the value of GAMA’s education related activities.
- Advance general community musical understanding and appreciation based on the concept of life-long learning.
GAMA’s Board of Trustees will be known for its effective governance and admired by its staff, musicians, and volunteers for its dedication, support, and advocacy.
- Trustees will be knowledgeable and fully engaged advocates of GAMA, participating in and supporting its events and activities.
- Through its by-laws and traditions, GAMA has a systematic process with which to create and maintain an active, accountable, engaged, appropriately sized and skilled Board of Trustees.
- The Board of Trustees will articulate clear expectations for the performance of the Music Director and the Executive Director.
- The Board of Trustees will study opportunities for potential business partnerships and collaborations with other arts organizations for the mutual benefit of the organizations involved.
GAMA will operate in a financially sound manner and generate funds to meet its organizational goals and to ensure its long-term financial viability.
- Fiscal planning will encompass a two-year rolling plan.
- Budgeted spending will not exceed projected revenue in any given fiscal year and actions will be taken in a timely manner to eliminate any deficit.
- Management reporting will be enhanced to ensure clear, concise and timely information to board and stakeholders.
GAMA will achieve a sustainable contributory base by nurturing and expanding financial giving and volunteerism.
- Personalize our contributors’ experiences with GAMA to establish a sense of ownership.
- Establish a giving model that increases contributed income by “X” during this three-year plan.
- Create programs to touch non-concert goers who can become friends, donors and/or ticket buyers.
- Use special events that add to the bottom line and are run with minimal impact on staff time and resources.
Akron Symphony administrative personnel
Administrative Staff Details
Paul JarrettExecutive Director
Fran GoldmanDirector of Artistic Operations
Thomas MooreDirector of Marketing
Sharon SmithTicket Services Manager
Brenda L. JusticeAdministrative Assistant & Coordinator of Choral Programs
Jerome MiskellPersonnel Manager
Cory SmithOrchestra Librarian
Lori ConantFinance Controller
Orzella B. MathersonEducation & Community Engagement Coordinator
Brian Del BiancoOperations Coordinator
Courtney GazdaAkron Youth Symphony Coordinator
Board of Trustees
Greater Akron Musical Association Board of Trustees
Board of Trustees Details
Greater Akron Musical Association Board of Trustees Executive Officers
- Mike Pasternak, President
- David Supelak, Executive Vice President
- Susan Burnoski, Treasurer
- Kurt Reed, Secretary
- Melissa Johnson, Development Chair
- Kathryn Booth, Finance Chair
- Bob Zajac, Governance Chair
- Jim Zwisler, Community Engagement & Education Chair
- Jessica Korkosz Korzhiletskiy, Member At-Large
- David Lieberth, Member At-Large
- Sally Schneider, Member At-Large
- Andre Thornton Jr., Member At-Large
- Mark Auburn, Immediate Past President
- Christopher Wilkins, Music Director
- Paul Jarrett, Executive Director
- Laura Beth Arnott, Chorus Rep
- Mark Auburn
- Sandy Becker-Neidert
- Dr. Todd Beyer
- Kathryn Booth
- Karen W. Budd, Ph.D., President, Akron Symphony Guild
- Susan Burnoski, CPA
- Lawrence B. Butler, Jr.
- Tom Crookes
- Carla J. Davis
- Tracy Dowe
- Bruce Fahey
- Robert Frutchey
- Dr. William K. Guegold
- Martha Hancock, Orchestra Rep
- Jerry Irby
- Melissa Johnson
- Jessica Korkosz Korzhiletskiy
- Quinnie Lane
- Kathleen Leigh
- David Lieberth
- Jason Lorenzon
- Tina Magazine
- Kim McFarland
- Melodie Morgan-Minott, M.D.
- Charles Myricks Jr.
- Dave Nelson
- Michael J. Pasternak, President
- James F. Pearson
- Lucia Pileggi
- Renee Pipitone
- Kendra Preer, Ph.D.
- Julie Pulk
- Ernie Puskas
- Kurt Reed
- Todd Rosenberg
- Sally Schneider
- Dr. David M. Sinar
- David M. Supelak, CPA, MT
- Michael A. Sweeney
- Andre Thornton, Jr.
- Dr. Ann Usher
- Noriko Wilson
- Donna Zabel
- Robert Zajac
- James E. Zwisler
- Norman P. Auburn, Ph.D.*
- Robert S. Crawford*
- J. Ralph Gillman*
- Sue J. Gillman
- Mabel Lamborn Graham*
- Jane Kaufman*
- Bruce F. Rothmann, M.D.*
- Lola M. Rothmann
Trustee of Note
- Olive Cairns*
- William & Margaret Denton*
- Dorothy Gaylord*
- Ida Grotz*
- Joseph S. Lichty, M.D.*
- Gerald S. McFadden
- Edward J. Metzger
- Dorothy Seeger*
- Irene Shadley*
- Charles K. Sorkin*
- Mary Louise Stewart*
- Helen M. Vawter
Board Alumni Counsel
- Patricia M. Albrecht Bracey
- Ron Allan
- Mark Auburn
- Susan Burnoski
- Lisa Chapman-Smith
- Thomas Clark
- Robert L. Culp, Jr.
- R. Fred Damerow
- Richard Dee
- Jerilynn Ferguson
- Sandra Fishel
- Laura Lee Garfinkel
- Diana Gayer
- Priscilla Grant
- DuWayne Hansen
- Richard Harris
- Dr. Sandra Hazra, M.D.
- Robert L. Hunt Sr.
- Jerry Irby
- Mary Ann Jackson
- Mary Beth Kluge
- Bill Lowery
- Orlene K. Makinson
- Diana D. Maurer
- William N. Melver
- John Mogen
- Jo Ann Oelschlager
- Michael Pasternak
- Charlie Peter
- Guy Pipitone
- Ernest E. Pouttu
- Charles J. Reitz III
- George Rosin
- Dr. Walter Ruf
- Jacqueline Sampsel
- John W. Solomon
- David Scarponi
- Dave Supelak
- Charlie Peter, Chair
- Kathryn Booth
- Susan Burnoski
- Tom Clark
- Priscilla Grant
- Richard Harris
- Melissa Johnson
- Bill Lowery
- John Mogen
- Michael Pasternak
- Guy Pipitone
- Jacqueline Sampsel
Akron Symphony Guild
About the Guild
The Akron Symphony Guild provides organized volunteer support for the Akron Symphony Orchestra, Akron Symphony Chorus and Akron Youth Orchestras.
About the Guild Details
The Akron Symphony Guild was established in 1952 to provide organized volunteer support of the Akron Symphony organization, including the Akron Symphony Orchestra, Chorus and Youth Symphony. More than 100 members participate in varied and exciting events and programs to help ensure that symphonic music remains an important part of the Akron Community.
The Akron Symphony Guild provides support to a number of fundraising and concert events including Crescendo, Concerts For Kids, The Lakes Tour of Portage Lakes homes, Fanfare, Previews from the Podium and more. The Guild also hosts quarterly social and networking luncheons that are open to the public.
For more information about the Akron Symphony Guild, call the Akron Symphony office at 330-535-8131 or email email@example.com and you'll be put in touch with an Akron Symphony Guild member, or click on the "Membership" section for additional details.
Discover how easy and rewarding it is to be part of the volunteer organization that supports the Akron Symphony.
Joining the Akron Symphony Guild means you are committed to taking a role in encouraging an appreciation of music in our community. It’s an opportunity for you to meet and get to know others that share a love of music and value music education. Whatever your talents or level of interest, the Akron Symphony Guild is your opportunity to be part of a leading Akron area arts organization and make a positive impact in greater Akron.
Guild members have four general meetings a year that are open to the public and include an artistic performance, as well as opportunities to meet new people who share a love of music. Guild members are responsible for attending at least two general meetings annually and directly supporting Akron Symphony concerts and events. Active members are also required to volunteer at least 10 hours per year and serve on at least one committee. Dues are $25 for Active members and $40 for Supporting Active members.
Become part of an organization that values your skills, talents and time. By becoming a member, you’ll:
- Have a role in encouraging youth and adult understanding and appreciation of music.
- Volunteer to support the Akron Symphony Orchestra, Chorus and Youth Orchestras
- Receive announcements about all symphony events and concerts
- Receive invitations to all Guild events
- Receive copies of the Guild Newsletter
- Vote at General Meetings
- Meet new people and new friends!
To join the Akron Symphony Guild, call the Akron Symphony office at 330-535-8131 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. You'll be put in touch with an active member about the different ways you can be a part of our musical community through volunteer support.
Guild Executive Board
2016-2017 Guild Executive Board
Guild Executive Board Details
President, Karen Budd
Vice-President, Pat Nilsestuen
Corresponding Secretary, Madeline Bozzelli
Secretary, Lois Reaven
Assistant Secretary, Nancy Irby
Treasurer, Roseanne Henderson
Assistant Treasurer, Karen Schreckengost
Crescendo, Madeline Bozelli
Lakes Tour, Sandy Becker-Neidert
Membership, Donna Zabel
Publicity, Wendy Turrell
Nominating, Laura Lee Garfinkel, Sue Gillman, Teresa Good, Roseanne Henderson, Donna Zabel, Toby Gorant
Details about upcoming Akron Symphony Guild events.
Member Events Details
2016-2017 Quarterly Meetings
- October 4, 11:30 a.m. at D'Agnese's with special guest Marie Bucoy-Calavan
Education & Engagement
Programs designed to engage our community
Community Outreach Details
PERFORMANCE ENSEMBLES: A variety of small ensembles are available for performance at community events. Download the ensemble request form below to learn more about how music by Akron Symphony Orchestra musicians can enhance your event.
HEALING ARTS: The Akron Symphony partners with healthcare providers and musicians to nurture and utilize the healing power of music in healthcare settings. Healthcare providers are invited to sponsor choral and instrumental ensembles to perform within their facilities and as part of their programs.
ADULT EDUCATION FOR COMMUNITY ORGANIZATIONS: Music Director Christopher Wilkins and musicians from the Akron Symphony are available to provide entertaining and informative dialogs on a variety of topics.
For more information, contact Fran Goldman, Director of Artistic Operations, at 330-535-8131.
Sponsor one of our hands-on music programs for your school
In-School Ensembles Details
Your PTA/PTO may be interested in sponsoring a program at your school. In-School Ensemble Programs offer elementary students an up-close-and-personal concert experience through programs that includes an introduction to the instruments with a lively hands-on discussion and enjoyable, recognizable pieces that demonstrate important musical concepts. Our programs are designed to address the Ohio Department of Education Music Standards. For a list of available programs and pricing options contact Fran Goldman, Director of Artistic Operations, at 330-535-8131.
Classes and programs designed to help improve your musical skills.
INSTRUMENTAL & VOCAL WORKSHOPS designed to enhance the skills of music students are available. Our professional musicians and conductors are available to work with students in your school.
CHORUS PROGRAMS: Members of the Akron Symphony Chorus and Gospel Meets Symphony Chorus are available for outreach and educational programs.
Specials and events focused around the Akron Symphony Orchestra
Concert Programs Details
PREVIEWS FROM THE PODIUM: One hour prior to each of the Akron Symphony’s Classic Series Concerts, Maestro Christopher Wilkins will provide insights about the music and composers featured on the evening’s program. He is often joined by other performers, soloists or composers for this relaxed yet informative talk.
OPEN REHEARSALS: Select concert rehearsals are open for students and community members to attend as part of a school or community outreach program. Check our Concerts page for details.
CONCERTS FOR KIDS is designed for children ages 2-6 years old. Programs are attended by area preschools, childcare centers and families with young children. The concepts, listening and interactions fostered through these performances strengthen a wide range of learning and developmental experiences for children. Programs address the child development and early learning framework including creative arts expression, initiative and curiosity, attentiveness, receptive language, literacy knowledge through storytelling and the portrayal of events, characters and stories through acting.
In May 2017, Eric Benjamin will lead the orchestra in a 45-minute program that features the full orchestra in various venues throughout Summit County. Pre-concert educational and teacher resource materials may be downloaded here.
LINK UP – THE ORCHESTRA ROCKS – March 21, 2017, 9:45 and 11:15 AM at the Akron Civic Theatre
One universal element of music is rhythm. Composers and musicians play with elements of musical time, creating patterns of sound and silence that are expressive and exciting. A consistent groove can unite musicians, singers, and audiences in an experience of listening and performing together. Through the Link Up repertoire, hands-on activities, and a culminating interactive performance with a professional orchestra, we will discover how the orchestra rocks.
Repertoire includes Orff’s O Fortuna from Carmina burana, Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 4, Holst “Mars” from The Planets and Stravinsky’s “Dance of the Adolescents” from The Rite of Spring.
Approximately 3,000 students from public, private, charter and parochial schools from throughout Summit County participate in the Akron Symphony’s Link Up program each year. Link Up is a highly participatory program that invites students to learn about orchestral repertoire through a yearlong, hands-on music curriculum. Utilizing materials provided free-of-charge by Carnegie Hall, teachers guide students in exploring music through a composer’s lens, with students participating in active music making in the classroom; performing repertoire on recorder, violin, voice, or body percussion; and taking part in creative work, such as composing their own pieces inspired by the orchestral music they have studied. The collaboration culminates with the two performances at the Akron Civic Theatre, providing students the opportunity to sing and play the recorder along with the full Akron Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Assistant Conductor Jacob Sustaita. The performances are free and open to the public subject to seating availability.
Teachers from participating schools are welcome to participate in the Link Up 2016-17 Season Planning Webinar at 5 PM on July 27, 2016. Contact Orzella Matherson or Fran Goldman at 330-535-8131 for more details. Participating teachers should plan to attend the Link Up, The Orchestra Rocks Professional Development Workshops scheduled for September 29, 2016 and January 25, 2017.
The Akron Symphony is one of more than 90 national and international organizations selected to participate in the Link Up program in partnership with Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute (WMI). Link Up’s national partnerships grew out of the program’s ongoing work with New York City schools, through which Carnegie Hall has engaged hundreds of thousands of students in musical learning since its inception in 1985. For more information about the Link Up program and Carnegie Hall, visit www.carnegiehall.org/linkup.
Need a Speaker?
Our artistic and professional leadership is eager to talk to your group about a variety of music-related topics.
Need a Speaker? Details
Members of the Akron Symphony / Greater Akron Musical Association executive and artistic staff, Board of Trustees, orchestra and chorus are available to talk about Akron Symphony programs, music, the lives of professional musicians, careers in music, and their own leadership roles within the orchestra and the community. Our representatives are available to visit:
- Schools and classes
- Arts organizations and advocacy groups
- Community music programs
- Civic engagement organizations
- Corporations and small businesses
- Leadership groups
- Membership organizations
- Boards of Directors/Trustees
- Economic development groups
- Government entities
- Anyone else interested in what we offer
If you would like to have us speak with your community group, organization or class, please contact Executive Director Paul Jarrett or Education and Community Engagement Coordinator Orzella Matherson at 330-535-8131.