Friends of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra

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The Friends of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra is a non-profit cultural and educational organization based in St. Paul, Minnesota. It was founded in 1975 by Lola May Thompson and Patricia Whitacre with the mission of supporting the activities of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and incorporated in 1984. It is one of the longest continuously operating auxiliary organizations for any professional American orchestra.


Activities and Awards[edit]

The Friends of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra sponsors fundraising events, audience development events, classes in music appreciation, and biannual group tours of major musical centers in Europe. It has won several awards from national arts organizations, the first one the 1996 "Outstanding Benefit of the Year" award from the League of American Orchestras for a fund-raising event organized by past presidents Kay Bendel and Betty Reichert in an airplane hangar in the downtown St. Paul airport. In 2003, the Friends of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra won a Silver Ribbon from the same organization for the classes in music appreciation that it offers to the public under the supervision of the musicologist Daniel E. Freeman.

With funding from the Patricia Whitacre Memorial Fund, the Friends of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra inaugurated a Youth Chamber Music Competition in February 2012. The competition coordinator is Annette Conklin. The first winner of the competition was the Quartet Tzigane. In 2013, the competition was divided into two levels of competition based on the age of the participants.

Presidents of the Friends of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra[edit]

Term President/Co-Presidents
1975-1977 Lola May Thompson
1977-1979 Ann Meyer
1979-1981 Patricia Whitacre
1981-1983 Yvonne Momsen
1983-1985 Betty Zats
1985-1987 Jo Bailey
1987-1989 Dona Woolfrey
1989-1991 Betty Reichert
1991-1993 Mary Ann Okner
1993-1994 Joanne Jirik Mullen
1994-1995 Carol Damberg
1995-1997 Mary Jo Monson
1997-1999 Jean Humphries
1999-2001 Mary Frederick
2001-2003 Karen Larsen and Sherry Spence
2003-2005 Gwen Crabb and Debbie Koop
2005-2007 Beth Thornton
2007-2008 Kay Bendel and Mary Frederick
2008-2010 Annette Conklin and Sherry Spence
2010-2011 Carolynn Johnson
2011-2012 Carolynn Johnson and Katie Scarfone
2012-2013 Inez Bergquist and Katie Scarfone
2013-2014 Katie Scarfone
2014- Penny Chally and Betty Andrews

Winners of the Youth Chamber Music Competition[edit]

Year Winners
2012 Quartet Tzigane
2013 Luna Quartet (Level A); French Trio (Level B)
2014 Appoggiatura Quartet (Level A); Trio Tesoro (Level B)

See also[edit]

Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra

External links[edit]