Local Students and Adults Give Time, Enjoy Music, Earn Respect, Build Community

Photo by: Maria Chen

By Sean Telles
September 12, 2012 • 2,379 views

By Sean Telles
Arcadia, Ca - Student and adult volunteers from across the San Gabriel Valley lead to successful California Philharmonic’s season. Applications being accepted online for next year.

“Cal Phil’s volunteer program benefits Arcadia, and the surrounding neighborhoods by providing adults & teens alike with a fun & unique experience. We are making new friends & serving the community, all while listening to world class music.” – Nicole Enriquez, Assistant Volunteer Director

Cal Phil is a non-profit that relies on its volunteer corps. Every other weekend this past summer, around five-thousand people came to hear a full orchestra, and guests, inside Santa Anita Park. Unbeknownst to many, almost everything – apart from stage and lighting – was done by volunteers, including signage, ticketing, customer service, setting up tables, counting and stacking of chairs.

“Walking into this organization I had no idea that I was going to be a leader or in any way helpful. I simply wanted community service hours…Cal Phil has granted me the opportunity to find out who I am and has given me a place where I can belong. Those two reasons in itself motivates me to come back every year just to make myself a better person and I’m happy to share my new self with my Cal Phil Family.” Joshua Tran, 16, Temple City High School–Volunteer Leader

Jeanine Auza, Director of Volunteers, calls the set up and break down process fairly intense but overwhelmingly rewarding. From the roughly 1,100 people in the volunteer database, a little less than half work at the concerts. The set up begins on Friday and continues into Saturday. As guests start to arrive, the concert goers are greeted with nervous young smiles and offers to help carry picnic items or to find one’s seat. After the show, when the crowd goes home, the breakdown begins and doesn’t normally end until midnight. The next day, volunteer crews return for a last major cleanup session.

“Volunteering for the California Philharmonic has been an unforgettable experience for all the junior and adult volunteers. As an enthusiastic youth volunteer who has dedicated 207 hours to California Philharmonic, I am pleased to say that this organization has provided me the opportunities to serve my community as well as to develop essential leadership skills in order to make our concert series a success… No wonder volunteers return to Cal Phil every year; it is a time to build new relationships, to make new memories, and most importantly, to take pleasure in giving service to the community and to its citizens.” Claire Chow, 16, Temple City High School – Volunteer Leader

Auza describes the volunteers as wonderful, polite, and proactive. Many volunteers come from Temple City High, due to their strong music program, but this summer also saw participation from Alhambra HS, San Marino HS, and Arcadia HS. Cal Phil is looking for more engaged students and welcomes students from surrounding cities to fill out an online volunteer profile at http://www.calphil.org/support/volunteer/sign-up-here/

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