About the Committees

History of the Volunteer Committees

The Volunteer Committees for The Philadelphia Orchestra were formed in 1904, four years after the Orchestra’s first concerts. The Women’s Committee, as it was originally called, was the first permanent organization of its kind in the U.S., and has since come to serve as a model for similar groups around the world.

The first committee had 20 members and set as its goal to raise $10,000 to alleviate an early financial shortfall. It achieved its goal and raised an additional $5,000 in ticket orders for the following season. Since these auspicious beginnings, membership has grown to a current roster of 460 volunteers, drawn from the tri-state area of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware. The organizational structure has grown to now include 7 Committees:

Central, Chestnut Hill, Main Line, New Jersey, Rittenhouse Square, West Philadelphia

The mission of the Volunteer Committees has also greatly expanded since its initial goals of 1904. Volunteers now support the Orchestra in such areas as audience development, educational programs, fundraising, community relations, and special events.

Among the projects presented by the volunteers are the Season Opening Gala, a spring event, an educational docent program in preparation for the Orchestra’s student concert series, the presentation of gold watches to orchestra members with 25 years of service, and the annual Golf Classic. To learn more about upcoming events, please visit our events page.

Through all their endeavors over the past 105 years, thousands of members of the Volunteer Committees have given countless hours of time and talents in service to The Philadelphia Orchestra and the people of the greater Delaware Valley metropolitan region. The Orchestra would not be what it is today without the dedication, time, and talents of the Volunteer Committees.

Volunteer Leadership:
2019-2020 Season

Executive Committee

Nancy Galloway, President
Dianne Rotwitt, President Elect and Vice President, Volunteer Committees
Ramona Vosbikian, Vice President, Standing and Ad Hoc Committees
Judith F. Glick, Vice President, Special Functions
Sherrin Baky-Nessler, Treasurer
Jean Park, Secretary

Governing Board

Central Committee: Marie Kenkelen
Chestnut Hill Committee: Judy Bradley and Sheila Leith
Main Line Committee: Deborah Ledley
New Jersey Committee: Richelle Rabenou
Rittenhouse Square Committee: Frances Schwartz
West Philadelphia Committee: Alice Cullen

Standing Committee Chairmen

Annual Giving Committee: Sheila Leith
Education Committee: Deborah Ledley and Ramona Vosbikian
Volunteer Archives Committee: Elizabeth A. Crowell

Gratitude & Thanks

Much of the success of the Volunteer Committees can be attributed to its dedicated leadership. We are forever grateful to each and every Volunteer who has served as part of our Volunteer Leadership, for their endless devotion to The Philadelphia Orchestra and our Volunteer Committees. 

There have been only 16 presidents of the Volunteer Committees in its almost 100 year history:

Mrs. Alexander J. Dallas Dixon 1904-1912
Miss Frances A. Wister 1912-1956
Mrs. James Hatfield 1956-1978
Mrs. T. Wistar Brown 1978-1982
Mrs. John S. Newbold 1982-1985
Mrs. Herbert W. Hazen 1985-1988
Mrs. David L. Pennington 1988-1991
Mrs. Robert P. Frankel 1991-1994
Mrs. Richard B. Gould 1994-1997
Mrs. Robert N. Garrison 1997-2000
Mrs. Robert L. Stevens 2000-2003
Ms. Despina F. Page 2003-2006
Mrs. Elizabeth Mahoney 2006-2009
Mrs. Sally S. Bullard 2009-2012
Mrs. Stephanie Brandow 2012-2014
Mrs. Caroline Buck Rogers 2014-2016
Mrs. Lisa Yakulis 2016-2018
Mrs. Nancy Galloway 2018-2020


Musician Appreciation

Although we are not able to meet in person, we still want to show our musicians that we appreciate them!

Why Become A

Our volunteers collaborate with the Orchestra's board, musicians, and staff to fundraise, educate, and promote symphonic music in our communities.

Our Annual

Tuesday, October 13, 2020
Applebrook Golf Club, Malvern, PA