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  Cincinnati Symphony Volunteer Association  

The purpose of the Cincinnati Symphony Volunteer Association (CSVA) is to strengthen public appreciation of the Cincinnati Symphony and Pops Orchestra’s contribution to the cultural and economic life of the Cincinnati and tri-state area. Subject to the approval of the Board of Trustees of the Orchestra, the CSVA, through volunteer services, shall engage in activities and projects that are designed to enhance the public relations and financial strength of the Orchestra.

Volunteers created the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and have consistently played an important part in its success. In the mid-1890’s, Miss Helen Sparrman, honorary president of the Ladies’ Musical Club, embraced the idea of regular symphony concerts in Cincinnati. She and Miss Emma Roedter, president, Mrs. William Howard Taft, secretary, and 15 other women were the impetus behind the supporting company. The organization was named the Cincinnati Association Company and Mrs. William Howard Taft was its first president.

Mrs. Taft was succeeded by Mrs. Christian R. Homes who was followed by Mrs. Charles P. Taft. From 1895 to 1929, CSO performances were under the leadership of these women. In 1936 the Cincinnati Symphony Women’s Committee was established with 1,200 initial members whose efforts focused on selling subscription tickets. They drove CSO subscribership to the highest levels of any US orchestra. That leadership continues today as the group evolved to take on other fundraising and volunteer activities.

In 1962 the Cincinnati Symphony Men’s Business Relations Committee was formed with the main purpose of raising funds and creating a link to the business community. The Cincinnati Symphony Association was established by the CSO Board in 1985 by combining the Women’s Committee, the Men’s Business Relations Committee, and the Friday Nighters, a committee to support attendance at Friday night performances.

In 2011 the CSA was renamed the Cincinnati Symphony Volunteer Association (CSVA) to reflect the wide scope of volunteer involvement. This combined organization continues to strengthen public appreciation of the CSO’s contributions to the cultural and economic life of Cincinnati and southwest Ohio. 

For more information, please call Director of Volunteers and Special Events Mary Beth Johnson 513.744.3365.

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