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March 15, 2024

A Message from Melissa Riesgo, Vice-Chair, Boston

Is it spring yet? I feel like January and February flew by, and now the dreary month of March is creeping along. I love winter, but I’d like to skip the mud season and go right to spring!

Our Social Committee has continued to meet monthly, and we’ve kicked the year off with a couple meet-ups: Pat Stanton gave two musically-oriented tours at the Museum of Fine Arts. The first tour in January was so popular that she did a reprise in February, and is set to do another on April 1! Those that have attended have remarked that it is a highly enjoyable experience. Pat is informed and enthusiastic, and the pieces are well-selected. You may head to the BSAV portal to sign up - highly recommend it! Afterwards those that are interested can convene at the New American Cafe for a beverage.

On Sunday, February 18 many of us attended the BSAV Named Concert. As in years past, we gathered beforehand for a lovely reception in Cabot-Cahners. Many remarked on the nice change of the Named Concert this year being a matinee! The concert was sold out, and quite literally standing room only. We were all in complete awe of the young, South Korean pianist Yunchan Lim. The first half, he performed Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3 - arguably one of the most virtuosic works - and the audience enthusiastically leapt to their feet when he finished. Not even a moment’s hesitation for Tugan Sokhiev to drop the baton. For the second half, he performed Chausson’s Symphony in B-flat, which was also exquisite, and of course, Chopin as an encore was the cherry on top. The Executive Committee members had the pleasure of meeting him briefly at intermission!

As we approach the end of the season, we will be once again inviting all volunteers to fill out the Boston Volunteer Survey. I wanted to share some highlights/takeaways from last year’s survey:

  • We are working to ensure all volunteers are clear about their roles and responsibilities, and are reviewing and updating the Project Lead and volunteer project descriptions. But, the good news is that the majority of volunteers do feel prepared for their projects/duties!
  • Veteran tour guide mentors should be reminded of the importance of giving positive feedback in addition to any constructive criticism when working with new guides.
  • Also, along the lines of tours, when leading group or private tours, we will work to provide tour guides with more details and contact info for the group in advance of the tour, so that the guide can feel better prepared in tailoring the tour.
  • There’s been a lot of interest in finding ways to connect more with one another outside the hall and get to know fellow volunteers better. By forming the Social Engagement Committee, we’re addressing this and other community-building ideas including offering volunteers tours of the Hall.

If you haven’t normally filled out the survey in the past, I would encourage you to do so! We take this feedback to heart and consider it carefully when making changes to improve the volunteer experience. We’ll keep you posted on when it will be sent out, and we’d love for you to fill it out at your earliest convenience! It’s incredibly helpful when planning for the following season.

Looking forward to seeing you all at the Recognition Event on May 20, if not before!

Melissa Riesgo
BSAV, Vice Chair