Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Finishing Touches

For several weeks in May, Rivers seniors embark on self-directed independent study projects that can involve anything from volunteering at a soup kitchen to, in one case, earning a rocketry certification. Over the next few weeks, we will be periodically checking in with a handful of students to learn more about their experiences. Today, we hear from Kate Voorhes, who is interning at the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

Everything came together today.
Over the past two weeks, I filled exactly 32 boxes with 28 volunteer directory binders.

I made and laminated volunteer badges (used to get into concerts, etc) and volunteer companion passes (special priveledge for members who donated enough money).

I used a "mail-merge" to transfer members' info (names and member id #) to a word template. I learned how to use the BSAV's computer database, Tessitura, which contains every bit of information about every single member. Literally EVERYTHING. I can look up one member, say my neighbor, and instantly know every date they attended a concert, how much money they gave the BSO on any date, any relatives they have, all addresses and phone numbers, every organization of which they are a member, their preferred name and other useful data. I feel like a telemarketer, or even worse than a facebook-stalker everytime I log onto Tessitura. Anyway, the other day I used Tessitura to compile a list of BSO members who had donated at least 75 dollars and deserved a companion pass (and also who didn't get one).

One of today's goals was to make envelopes. These rather large envelopes were going to contain sheets of info for BSO members, the binder directories, the volunteer badges and companion passes. So, I arrived at the BSO and stuffed away.

I ran into quite a few difficulties, most minor but difficult to catch, like the member ID on the volunteer badge didn't match with the number on the list, or someone was supposed to have a companion pass but one wasn't made. A creative task I had today was to figure out an efficient and neat way to organize the hundreds of envelopes. I made alphabetical dividers out of folders, cardboard, and tons of staples. They were super sturdy, and came out great! Here's what one of them looked like:

After staying a couple of hours late to finish stuffing envelopes, I snuck into Symphony Hall again to snap a few pictures. It was all set up for a Pops event tonight, as you can see from the pictures below. Notice the gorgeous white music stands/chairs on the symphony stage...I don't know why but I have always wanted to play from one. Oh, also notice the Pops chairs and tables (right) different from the normal pews during Symphony Season (fall/winter).

As I have been doing a lot of Tanglewood prep work, I'm hoping I will go to Tanglewood for the day this summer (I think I have free lawn passes!). I've never been and am looking forward to it! Anyone who hasn't been should definitely go--it looks beautiful, and listening to the BSO while seated outside adds a peaceful twist to listening to classical music. Anyway, can't wait for my last day tomorrow!

-Kate Voorhes

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