Nonprofits such as ours succeed because people just like you pitch in and help.

Please volunteer!

Help us succeed! To volunteer in any capacity, please contact our business office, at:          (509) 943-6602          PO Box 606, Richland, WA 99352


Current opportunities for volunteers (scroll down for details):

  1. At concerts, in the lobby
  2. At concerts, as a “stage hand”
  3. In our business office
  4. Social media (see “Urgent Needs”)
  5. Audio/video recording and processing
  6. Website design and upkeep
  7. President’s list

1.   Concerts – Lobby Area

With few exceptions, our concerts are held at Richland High School Auditorium or occasionally at Kennewick High School Auditorium. Volunteers are essential to join with Board members in the auditorium lobby to welcome patrons, sell tickets, provide tickets on “will call”, to take tickets, to monitor doors to the auditorium, to help patrons find their reserved seats, and to assist people with special needs.

The main requirements for these volunteers are a cheerful attitude bolstered by a little patience, a desire to help make the concert experience as pleasant as possible for our patrons, and finding some joy in solving problems from time to time—basically, wanting to be the patrons’ advocate.

We need to identify “lobby” volunteers about two weeks before a concert, after which we can help with any training that might be needed or desirable. 

2.   Concerts – Stage Area

A great deal of preparation goes into staging the orchestra and sometimes chorus to meet the requirements of a given concert program. We manage our concert “cycles”—meaning the period our entire orchestra is in town for rehearsals and the concert(s), and we work with the school district staff both to utilize their facility and also use some of their equipment. Usually this entails setting up chairs, music stands, and percussion instruments on a Thursday evening from about 6:00PM to 7:00PM, and then immediately after the last (if more than one) concert to put everything away, which takes about an hour after the concert is over—ending about 10:00PM for an evening concert, or about 6:30PM for a matinee concert. Occasionally the orchestra configuration changes during a concert, and stage volunteers can come on stage and help move chairs and stands and risers quickly during the concert intermission or between musical pieces.

Requirements for these volunteers are availability when needed and the physical ability to move chairs, music stands, and to help set up a few larger items such as risers and sometimes move the sound reflectors arrayed behind the orchestra. Little training is needed but can be provided “on-the-job”. Another possible assignment would be to provide security by overseeing our musicians’ instrument cases and personal items if they cannot be locked up during the concert per se.

3.   Business Office

Currently, our business manager both runs our business and runs our small office in the McHunter Building at 1177 Jadwin Avenue, Suite 103, in Richland, WA. The office lies in two rooms: the Business Manager’s desk and receiving area in the front room, and EVERYTHING ELSE in the back room, which is difficult for the Business Manager to organize and maintain while they work in the front office.

Therefore, we need a volunteer or two willing to dive in and sort, keep and store, or throw away items already filling the back room, and new items that need to be allocated to our back room as they are received. Currently, this includes many, many full file cabinets and some other, ad hoc bins of sheet music that we have acquired over decades, and many records of historical significance that we need to document and make more accessible.

We need volunteers willing to sort, check, and document historic items and especially our sheet music, under the direction of our Music Librarian. Requirements for these volunteers are patience and, ideally, office skills or experience working in offices in nonprofits or small companies with modest operating budgets.

4.   Social Media

[aslo see “Urgent Needs”] The Mid-Columbia Symphony currently has a presence on both Facebook and Instagram, but our staff have little time to improve our social media sites and keep them up-to-date. We realize that social media are very important instruments for marketing and advertising, two of our major challenges after two years of to little activity due to the pandemic. We have little expertise in these areas among our older Board members and existing volunteers.

With the help of some younger Board members and a team of volunteers that we want to build, we believe we can greatly increase our presence in our community, where we find a surprisingly large number of people do not even know we exist! We need to make sure we keep up with the times and advertise effectively through our social media sites.

The time required of volunteers is not predetermined and can be arranged in accordance with your skills, experience, interests, and available time. If you are interested or would just like to find out more, please contact us so we can discuss this further.

5.   Audio/Video Recording

After a hiatus, we are beginning to both audio- and video-record our concerts. This entails setting up microphones within the orchestra seating and stationing video cameras nearby. This enables recording both scenes of major portions or all of the orchestra and scenes of individual musicians or sections of instruments that can be edited into enticing recordings of an entire orchestral piece. We have the expertise and high-quality equipment, but those conducting this effort have limited time, and we need to build a larger, competent volunteer team, under the direction of Board member Steve Wiley, that can record concerts even when Steve is not available.

This is a specialized area for which we need volunteers with some experience with or who are otherwise competent with audio and video recording. The most challenging need is to direct the recording and ensure the desired video shots are recorded, followed by post-production to create a finished video product. An example result appears here in our archives section of this website. Other volunteers interested and willing to put in some time to learn the necessary skills are also welcome.

In addition to the recording process per se, we also need a stage team to set up microphones, cables,  connectors, and tape down cables, beginning at least an hour before a concert, and then removing everything we installed. Our venues require that we leave the stage as we found it before rehearsals began. This entails a couple of hours of volunteer effort on the day of a concert, plus whatever meeting time is needed to train volunteers between concerts.

6.   Website design and upkeep

The Mid-Columbia Symphony maintains a website at Most of our advertising and marketing efforts involve directing potential or current concert-goers to this website for online ticketing, information about Youth Programs and Community Outreach, information for musicians, and other information or services available from our organization. Therefore, it is important to maintain an appealing and functional website and keep it always up-to-date. We need to build a small team of volunteers who we can turn to help maintain our website in coordination with a designated “webmaster” and our Business office.

If you have experience with website design and maintenance, graphic arts, editing, and especially with the commonplace Elementor website editing software, and if you are able to devote a few hours occasionally to help us, please contact us so we can discuss this further.

7.   President’s List

Our concert programs recently have included an appeal for volunteers from our Board President, Phil Townsend. Shown below is his appeal. Please check it out and see if there are topics that interest you. Some of the items are also discussed elsewhere on this page.

Dear Patrons,

As you’re aware, it takes people to make any organization work. As a non-profit, we rely heavily on volunteers to do all the things that we can’t afford to hire staff to do. Below, I’ve listed several tasks that we could use the help of volunteers to perform. If you have talent in these areas, we’d love your help:

  • Webmaster—perform regular content updates (Elementor web editor)
  • Newsletter editor or content provider
  • Scholarship fund—work with board members to conceptualize and implement a scholarship fund in  memory of Clay Wick
  • Grant writer—assist our business manager in this
  • Head usher—coordinate and mentor the other volunteer ushers
  • Ambassador program coordinator and/or social media influencer
  • Marketing specialist/advisor—provide advice to the Board in this critical area
  • Pre-concert talk coordinator/advertiser—coordinate with Nick and the board to set up pre-concert talks available to the public
  • Post-concert get-together coordinator—anyone with an interest to arrange for and coordinate one or more post-concert social events
  • Orchestra thank-you event coordinator—coordinate a pre-concert thank-you for the orchestra members, with board members providing the funding & refreshments
  • Donor appreciation event coordinator—this is a new concept under development and would work with the Board and business manager to put on an event
  • MCAF fundraising event steering committee—one or more volunteers are needed to help plan and put on this event.

As you can see, there is a lot that we would like to do and would like to have volunteers to help achieve. This is a way you can engage to support the MCS without having to be on the Board (but we also need and welcome new Board members). Contact our business manager, Pam Kizito, or any of our board members if you have questions about these opportunities or would like to volunteer.

Phil Townsend, Board President

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