Volunteer of the Month

September 2020

Ann Smith

Ann Smith joined the Newburyport Choral Society as a Soprano 2 in January 2017 – which made James Whitbourn’s Annelies her first concert with NCS. Ann was hooked immediately and stated that she was “blown away” by Music Director George Case: “George really knocked my socks off; I loved singing with him and for him.”  

Attending graduate school in human services in New York City, Ann also took voice lessons with a long-shot hope of becoming an opera singer. However, it soon became clear to her that she was better at being “an educated audience member.” Prior to completing her graduate studies, Ann joined a few big choirs, such as Randolph, and spent her spare time attending free concerts performed in the city churches on Sunday afternoons and going to the opera – especially if Beverly Sills was performing!

Ann worked for many years in services for the blind, including The Lighthouse for the Blind. From there, she went on to get her MBA from Fordham University and worked in a few careers including banking, economic development and private consulting. She recently moved to Exeter, NH with her husband Bill to be near grandchildren and shortly after joined NCS at the recommendation of her friend and NCS member Nirmala Dole (Alto 1).

When filling out the 2018 Member Skills questionnaire, Ann described herself as a “process” person who is good at the computer.” Perfect!  Great skills matched up with good timing since NCS was just beginning to work on bringing its membership registration online for the first time. Ann initiated a discussion with NCS’ IT Director, Carol Yunker, and immediately got involved with data entry for the conversion to NEON (NCS’s online registration for members). A huge and successful undertaking that needed all hands on deck!

Ann was also one of several volunteers that worked on the NCS “Funding Research Team” in early 2020 – a team lead by Sponsorship Director Mary Dissette. This was a short-term project where the team reviewed other choral websites to determine how NCS sponsorship practices and policies compared. A detailed report to the Board was completed with key recommendations accepted by the Board. Ann commented that: “Mary’s project was really great. We had a terrific team that took a fresh look at how we raise money. I was so honored to work with Mary!”  Despite the pandemic, Ann continues to be an active NCS volunteer currently volunteering with the Revenue Team on two different projects.

Through her volunteer work, Ann was able to bring some great skills to NSC but was also able to gain new insight into the workings of NCS. She expressed how nice it was to pitch in and be able to get to know the people of the Newburyport Choral Society. “By doing one thing it expands opportunities. Leadership sees you and gets to know you. You really get to know your fellow members when you do something like this.”