In addition to a full slate of sessions exploring the latest thinking about nonprofit governance, pops programming, community engagement, and diversity, today the League’s 2015 Conference in Cleveland brought all delegates together for the League Luncheon and Annual Meeting. Highlights included an address by League President and CEO Jesse Rosen; an important announcement about SHIFT: A Festival of American Orchestras (more on that tomorrow); the presentation of the League’s Gold Baton and Helen M. Thompson awards; and a performance by Melinda Doolittle, American Idol season-six finalist. Peabody Award-winning broadcaster and producer Elliott Forrest served as emcee.
League President and CEO Jesse Rosen presented the Helen M. Thompson Award to Jennifer Boomgaarden, executive director of the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra. The Helen M. Thompson Award is given to orchestra managers and music directors in alternate years. The award was created in 1981 to celebrate the life and work of Helen M. Thompson, who dramatically advanced and promoted the cause of the symphony orchestra in the United States. The award particularly recognizes Thompson’s support and encouragement of managers and music directors early in their careers. This year’s award recognizes Boomgaarden’s exceptional leadership, dedication, and accomplishment as an executive director.
Boston Symphony Orchestra Managing Director Mark Volpe presented the Gold Baton Award to Anne-Marie Soullière, retired president of the Fidelity Foundation. Given annually for distinguished service to America’s orchestras, the Gold Baton is the League’s highest honor. Since 1948, the Gold Baton has recognized individuals and institutions whose far-reaching contributions to the field serve to champion and advance the cause of orchestras and symphonic music throughout the country. The League honored former Soullière for a lifetime of passionate support for music, enlightened leadership of the Fidelity Foundation, and wise counsel to numerous musical leaders.
Posted May 28, 2015