History and Purpose
May 1953 marked the beginning of the Amherst Symphony Orchestra Women’s Committee (in May 2003 the name was changed to Friends Committee of the ASO). Leah Olson, the founder and first president, started the Women’s Committee as a support group to the then six year old Amherst Symphony. From the beginning, the committee’s purpose has been to support the orchestra by publicizing its concerts, by participating in fund-raising, and by providing hospitality for the musicians, the Association Board and the community
One of the mostpostconcert important commitments to the orchestra is hospitality. Since 1974, an annual dinner has been served to the orchestra members, the Association Board, and the FriendsCommittee Executive Board. Refreshments are provided for the orchestra members at two Monday night rehearsals during the season.
Boutique: Many items with musical themes are offered for sale at each concert and at each preview luncheon.
Since 1986 The Friends (Women’s) Committee has offered a $500 scholarship yearly to a local high school senior entering college with the intent of majoring or double majoring in music. In 1990 the Williamsville Rotary Club matched these funds to bring the award to $1,000. In 2013 the amount is increased to $1,500. A portion of each member’s dues applies to the scholarship. The scholarship audition is held in late February or early March. Our most recent winners are: 2012 - Leonard Ranallo, 2010 - Jilene vanOpdorp, 2009 - Derek Voigt, 2008 - Alina Jeon, 2007 - Alexander Boissonnault, 2006 - Christopher Rogerson, 2005 - David Adamczyk, 2004 - Tea Prokes, 2003 - Matthew Schwartz, 2002 - Lauren Zang, and 2001 - Christina Courtin. For information, write to Friends Scholarship Committee, P.O. Box 1083, Williamsville, NY 14231-1083; contact your school music teacher, or download and print out Requirements Form and Application Form. The 2013 Scholarship auditions will be held on Saturday, February 2, 2013; Deadline for applications is Friday, January 11, 2013.
Download Application Forms Here
Concert Preview Luncheons
The Friends Committee luncheon offers four preview luncheons for members, family, friends and guests which are held the week preceding each concert. These previews are generally held in a local restaurant or country club and feature the guest artist and our conductor in a short program.
Friends Committee Members
Executive Board 2011-2012
Past Presidents (Women's Committee)
Past Presidents (Friends Committee)
2003-04 Kathryn Shorey
2004-07 Martha Thomas
2007-10 Nancy Wallace