The Friends of the GRSMA
By Beth Lepak, Chair of the Friends of the GRS Musicians Committee
Founded in 2015, Friends of the GR Symphony Musicians is a community-driven advocacy group to promote the Grand Rapids Symphony through supporting its Musicians, to ensure the orchestra's vitality and relevance as it advances to the 100th anniversary of its founding: 2030. This organization was established by GRS patrons, subscribers, donors, and community members who cannot imagine west Michigan without its artistic ambassadors: the Musicians of the GR Symphony.
Our first project was to help distribute yard signs supporting the musicians by placing them in our own yards and other places throughout the community. Committee members also attended “pop-up” concerts performed by small groups of musicians to help hand out cards advertising the musicians’ free concert on September 8. We then ushered and sold t-shirts at that very exciting and successful concert held at the Grand Rapids Public Museum. We were excited to hear Diane McElfish Helle, violinist with the symphony and co-lead negotiator for the musicians, voice her thoughts on the efforts being put forth by and for the musicians during this time.
Our most recent activity was to help the musicians hand out “support the musicians” cards before the first GRS concert September 18 & 19 while wearing our striking blue “support the musicians” T-shirts! We have really enjoyed meeting the other members of the committee and the community at large while taking part in these events. It is very satisfying knowing that we are helping support our wonderful symphony musicians. If you would like to join us, contact Beth Lepak, chair of the committee, at firstname.lastname@example.org.