It’s springtime and there’s music in the air! At Volunteer Fairfax, we are happy to support activities that combine music and volunteerism! Our partnership with the Virginia Chamber Orchestra (VCO) presents us with this opportunity.

The VCO was founded in 1971 with a mission to perform fine music with the highest artistic integrity for the broadest possible audience.  The history of the VCO is filled with examples of their outreach.  In their founding years, the musicians traveled by bus to areas of Virginia where live orchestral performance were not being offered.  Their outreach included concerts at the State School for the Deaf and Blind. Eventually the orchestra established a home base in Northern Virginia where they reached millions through educational television broadcasts yet remained devoted to growing local audiences in all socioeconomic groups.  Through affordable ticket prices and free admission for students, Bach for everyone became a reality!

Virginia Chamber Orchestra

In the 1980’s, in addition to regular season performances, the Virginia Chamber debuted the Special Audience Outreach program, an idea born out of those early performances for the Deaf and Blind.  At designated performances, the VCO committed to inviting special guests from underserved populations. These guests may not otherwise have had the opportunity to experience the VCO caliber of musical performance. These guests include Foster Care kids, immigrant families, single parents and their children, or at-risk teens.  In recent years, Special Audience guests have expanded to include Wounded Warriors and Our Military Kids.

Special Audience Events, include the musical performance and a post-concert dinner. To accomplish these activities, the VCO reaches out to the community for helping hands and hearts.  For several years now, VF’s Volunteers for Change members have answered the call!  Along with other area volunteers, Volunteers for Change members perform buffet set up and tear down, but more importantly, they engage them Special Audience guests in conversation.

VF received this email from Ann Sica, VCO Board member, Last Sunday, five Volunteer Fairfax volunteers provided major assistance at a post-concert dinner hosted by the VCO as part of a Special Audience Outreach event. The volunteers not only set up the dinner, but conversed with the special guests, making them feel truly welcome in the larger community.  These guests come from a wide-variety of facilities for the underserved. The VCO would like to give rave reviews to Volunteer Fairfax for a great boost to our outreach efforts.  They are a splendid asset to the county.”

In addition, VF volunteers have lent a helping hand at other Virginia Chamber Orchestra events, serving refreshments at Musicales or assisting with the silent auction at the Annual VCO Gala.  Beyond these activities, a Volunteers for Change member, Ivana Lee (pictured above) has joined the VCO board lending expertise at the governance level.  Truly the partnership between the VCO and Volunteer Fairfax has been one of mutual admiration and appreciation:  talented musicians and dedicated volunteers. Play on!

Through our network of community partnerships, volunteer opportunities exist that support the Arts. Or education.  Or sports. Or children.  What is your passion?  Visit www.volunteerfairfax and check out the opportunities on VolunteerNow, or join a volunteer program like Volunteers for Change. If your organization is looking to connect to volunteers, contact our Membership manager about joining our network through VF Membership.   Visit the Virginia Chamber Orchestra for upcoming concerts and ticket information.