The WomenSing Auxiliary is a group of dedicated volunteers who can choose a job and fill it – greet our audiences, handle our box office, pass out programs, help with our setups, host our receptions and wine bars, or help us pack it all up after the event. In short, they make these concerts extraordinary with their gracious hospitality and make it possible for us to do our best as performers, knowing all these details are taken care of!
If you would like to join this lively volunteer group, we’ll give you a free ticket to the concert and our never-ending gratitude. Furthermore, there are invitations to WomenSing social events which in the past have included a post-concert lunch and a year-end party. We guarantee a fun-loving group!
by Gail Doering
A few days ago, I had the privilege of sitting with Ann and Jim Pearson to speak to them about their contributions to WomenSing over the course of the last 20+ years. Much like a professional athlete who says he doesn’t keep track of record setting performances, the Pearsons are hard-pressed to provide details about how many times they have each served on the Board of Directors, how long Ann has been singing with the group, or the myriad of ways that they have each contributed to the growth and advancement of the choir.
Ann began singing with the group when it was Orinda Women’s Chorale. She has witnessed three director changes, many shifts in organizational structure, and has probably participated in every event, tour, performance and fundraising endeavor for the past 20 years. For many years Ann was Auction Chair for the WomenSing Gala and she’s currently serving on the Board of Directors.
Jim has also served on the Board, was the Production Manager for our concerts for many years, and has provided much assistance in populating our Musetta WomenSing database with marked music and recordings so that we can learn our music more easily and effectively. Ann says that Jim’s biggest contribution was to support her and especially to be her technological “safety net.”
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Both Ann and Jim have attended Chorus America for a number of years, on behalf of WomenSing, to educate themselves in arts management — often at their own expense. Plus, they have both worked in donor relations. The list goes on and on.
What is most remarkable about Jim and Ann? They really were not too interested in speaking of their accomplishments and endeavors, but instead, were eager to brainstorm and share ideas about what they thought could move WomenSing forward into the future, ways to serve the community, and to enjoy a brighter future for sharing unique, innovative and educational choral programs for women who run the gamut in terms of life experience and background.
When I asked Ann why she continues to remain committed to WomenSing and why she has sung for so many years, she said that she originally started with Orinda Women’s Chorale because she enjoys music, but that the overriding value for her over the long haul has been the community. Ann and Jim have contributed to that sense of community and many involved in WomenSing over time give tribute to the ways that this has happened. Patty Murray, a close friend of the Pearson’s and also a veteran WomenSing member says of the Pearsons, “They inspire, they gather, they are loyal, dependable, caring and endearing, they are what make the wheels turn joyfully in WomenSing.”
At the end of the day, it is difficult to imagine anyone who has given more heart, soul and time to WomenSing. To sum it up, artistic director, Martin Benvenuto says, “If there were a Volunteer Couple of the Decade Award at WomenSing, the uncontested recipients would be the Pearsons. Ann and Jim have given and continue to give to WomenSing passionately, thoughtfully, and oh–so-generously in every way possible. Their mark on the organization is so significant, and, I dare say, timeless.” And to this fine couple, all of WomenSing raise their collective voices to say, “Thank you, Ann and Jim.”
Gail Doering, an alto, is a member of the Board of Directors and co-chair of WomenSing’s Marketing team.