Outstanding Volunteers

Andrea Knupp Receives 2018 Golden Note Award


Congratulations to Andrea Knupp who was presented the Golden Note Award on May 16th. The Golden Note Award was established in 1979 to honor a Guild member who has made an outstanding contribution to the Guild and community. Our recipient has certainly done that over her years in the Guild.

Andrea joined the Guild in 2005 and has been an ever present member for music education and leadership for the Guild since that time. Soon after she joined, she began working to further promote our education programs, working on the Long Range Planning Committee to help develop the High School Partnership. She then chaired the High School Partnership program to make sure that it was implemented. She has chaired both the Elementary and Middle School Concerts, a large volunteer undertaking. Then she served as Vice President of Education for two year. Andrea was the President of the Guild for the 2015-16 year.  

But, education and leadership has not been her only focus in the Guild. She co-chaired the Homes Tour, worked on many Nominating and Long Range Committees and served as the Programs Chair for the Guild. In addition, she has served on several committees for the Presentation Ball and she just finished serving as one of the chairs for the 2018 Super Sale.

What brought Andrea to the Guild is her love for both music and education as she plays both the piano and violin. She taught pre-school and special needs pre-school children in Medway, Massachusetts for most of the 20 years she and her family lived there. She has a Bachelors and Masters degree in early childhood education and development from Michigan State University. 

Andrea is very active in her church, Saint Frances Episcopal. She sings in the choir, works on the annual book sale and leads the Stephen Ministry Program, a support and listening trained group for people with life issues. She is also active with Family Services of the Piedmont and is a past President of the Greensboro Newcomers Club.

Andrea has been married to her husband Ralph for 37 year and they have three children: Sarah, Peter and Allison, and six grandchildren.

Thank you to Andrea for your many years of service to the Greensboro Symphony Guild.  

Pam Stearns Receives 2017 Golden Note Award

Established in 1979, the Golden Note Award is presented to those Guild members who have made an outstanding service contribution to the Guild and to the community. Our 2017 recipient qualifies on both counts. She joined the Guild in 2007 and jumped in with both feet, chairing the Golf Tournament. She has served on the Executive Board and supported numerous fundraisers, deb activites, Classic events and Musicale Sundays. She can read a spreadsheet, explain budgets and track down expenses with such skill that our President Elect has deemed her a masterful forensic accountant. The Guild has been most fortunate to benefit from teh financial expertise of our current Treasurer, Pam Stearns. The Guild has shared in her life journey, witnessing her marriage to Dennis and the birth of daughters Angela and Bailey. The Stearns family has opened their home and hearts to our organization.

Pam is the Director of Financial Focus for Women, Chief Financial Officer and a Financial Advisor at Stearns Financial Group. She feels that guiding women to make better financial and life decisions is her professional calling. She holds a BA in economics from UCLA and an MBA with emphasis in Finance and Accounting from the University of California, Irvine. There is an alphabet of credentials behind her name, including CPA, RFG, CDFA, AICPA and FPA.

Pam is also involved with many nonprofit boards, including Greensboro's Women to Women's Endowment Fund, Hospice, Junior League, Bennett College and Peninsula Center for the Blind. She loves traveling and outdoor sports and was featured in a series of articles by the American Sailing Association.  She has also appeared on a nationwide PBS TV Series with Susan Bradley, "Women in Transition." Ms. Bradley states, "Pam has the gift of helping people understand complex and often confusing financial issues while making it fun and exciting at the same time. She brings out the best in people and genuinely cares about making a difference in people's lives."

Thank you, Pam, for making a difference in our lives and sharing your many gifts so generously. We honor you and your service with the Golden Note Award.

Past Golden Note Award Recipients


2016 Barbara Cone Award Presented to Kathy Manning

kathy Manning


Kathy Manning has served the Greensboro community in many capacities since she moved here from Washington, DC with her husband, Randall Kaplan and this is also where they raised their three children.  As an attorney, Kathy specialized in immigration law at her own firm, Manning & Associates, PLLC, and she has also used her many skills and talents as a leader of the arts in Greensboro.  Most recently she has worked diligently to raise over $35 million over the past two years that was needed to match the city's funding for the construction of the Steven Tanger Center for the Performing Arts, the new home of the Greensboro Symphony Orchestra. 

Kathy has served on the Greensboro Symphony Board where she is still a member, the Eastern Music Festival and the Triad Stage Board where she was a founding member and past Chairwoman.  Kathy also led the efforts to create ArtBeat, a local Greensboro arts and culture festival featuring the Greensboro Symphony Orchestra that has since been renamed '17 Days' and is now annually managed by ArtsGreensboro.  In addition, Kathy has chaired the Board of Trustees of the Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro, has co-chaired the Alexis de Tocqueville Society campaign for the United Way of Greater Greensboro and has been deeply involved in many positions of service to the Jewish Community in Greensboro, nationally and internationally.  In each of her positions Kathy's strong leadership and vision for the arts has strengthened our community.

Kathy's enthusiasm for music, music education and the performing arts has been an inspiration to many.  From her early childhood to her days singing with her choral groups at university to the role model she has been in our community, Kathy has shared her love of music and the arts with family and friends.  Her passion for Greensboro and music is what led her to devote her energies to the creation of a new performing arts center to insure all our citizens from students to adults have access to the best live music in Broadway and Symphonic performances available.


She has recently been given the Greensboro O. Henry Award as well as other honors for her work in this community, nationally and internationally. Kathy is receiving the Greensboro Symphony Guild Barbara Cone Award to honor her for exemplifying her love of music through her commitment to the Greensboro Symphony and her passion and dedication to raising the private funds for our new performing arts center that will become the new home of the Greensboro Symphony Orchestra.

Click here to see a list of all Barbara Cone Award recipients



2016 Bravo Award Presented to Pam Smith



The BRAVO award was established in 2004 to recognize a member in good standing who has been in the Guild five years or less and has given extensive volunteer service.

Pam Smith was first introduced to our Guild by Brenda Macfadden, her close friend of more than 40 years, and another successful transitioned retiree. Immediately, Pam put the marketing and strategic skills gained throughout her lifetime to work in the Guild, benefitting our membership and making a significant impact on our programs and projects. Within days of joining, she accepted the challenge of becoming publicity co-chair, and proved she was willing to work hard, listen and learn. As a member of the marketing team and later as publicity chair, she expanded public relations opportunities and added her creative input to a variety of media tools including billboards, neighborhood magazines and community flyers, ensuring the Guild’s viable and continuous presence throughout the Piedmont Triad. Her input was sought after and valued.

It was during the spring Super Sale, the Guild’s largest fundraiser, that the entire Guild truly became aware and appreciative of Pam’s unique gifts. In the months preceding the event, she worked tirelessly to form working partnerships throughout the community and sought to engage a diverse audience in our efforts. The results were impressive—both record crowds attended the event and record funds were raised. Through it all, she proved she was a straight-shooter, a loyal friend, a highly organized and dependable team player, and an immensely competent diplomat.

In addition to her demanding role as publicity chair, Pam has also volunteered at the Educational concerts and has served on both the Long Range and Nominations/Awards committees.

A native of Staunton, Virginia, Pam is a graduate of Hollins University and retired from Banner Pharmacaps in 2014. She and husband John are avid Clemson fans and often travel with the marching band, most recently to attend the 2016 College Football National Championship in Arizona. She is both a talented equestrian and tennis player, and loves her two cats. She is blessed with close friends who appreciate her wisdom, and her frankness.

Take a look at past Bravo Award Recipients here.