Volunteer in Tempo penguin costume posing for photo

April is National Volunteer Month, the perfect moment for the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra to honor and publicly thank our more than 200 volunteers, who spend nearly 6,000 hours sup-porting the CSO’s many performances, events and activities.

Chances are if you’ve been to a concert at Music Hall, you’ve interacted with one of the many CSO volunteers who provide a welcoming environment. Clad in all-black, they carry binders of information and tackle questions from “where is the closest restroom” to “what gift shop item would be the perfect souvenir” to “how long is the intermission?”

Several of our volunteers are former teachers, and they lend knowledge and expertise to the CSO’s education efforts. At Lollipops Family Concerts volunteers can be found assisting children of all ages with making crafts and taking photos. For Young People’s Concerts, volunteers guide students safely between their school buses and Music Hall. And in the ever-popular Music Labs (offered before Lollipops concerts and during engagement activities throughout neighboring communities), volunteer musicians demonstrate instruments to introduce the joy of music-making. 

Another volunteer role that brings a smile to everyone’s face is Tempo the Penguin! Tempo, the hip jacket-and-glasses-wearing Pops mas-cot, can be seen around Music Hall for many family-friendly events, along with his friends Rudolph and Frosty, who often join him at the CSO’s annual Holiday Pops concerts.

Volunteers assisting a child at a concert.

CSO administrative departments also depend on volunteers for behind-the-scenes work, preparing mailings, assisting with special event set-up, and in numerous other situations.  In the Music Library, volunteers assist with everything from data input to adding measure numbers to scores and parts. And over the past two years, in preparation for the CSO’s 125th Anniversary season, dedicated volunteers Tom Braun, Nancy Wagner, Patty Wagner and Tom Ziegler contributed over 375 hours to support the CSO communications department with historical research and documentation. This initiative culminated in the creation of the CSO 125th Anniversary Timeline.

Volunteers also are among the Orchestra’s best ambassadors, representing the CSO and Pops at community events like BLINK, Cincinnati Comic Expo, Crafty Supermarket, Greater Cincinnati Holiday Market and the Washington Park Summer Cinema series. Several volunteers who are members of the CSO Street Team also help the Orchestra’s marketing department staff to spread the word about upcoming concerts by hanging up posters in their neighborhoods.

These are just a few of the ways our many volunteers help to make the music and magic happen at Music Hall and beyond. We are grateful for their efforts, this month and always! If you are interested in joining our team of dedicated (and much appreciated) volunteers, please visit our volunteer page for more info.