Outstanding Volunteers

Mary Fran Schickedantz Receives 2019 Golden Note Award

Congratulations to Mary Fran Schickedantz who was presented the Golden Note Award at the May 15th Guild Cocktail Party. This award is presented to a Guild member who has made an outstanding service contribution to the Guild and to the community. This year’s recipient has certainly done that over her years in the Guild.

Mary Fran joined the Guild immediately after moving to Greensboro in 1968. She has been a GSO ticket holder since then, spanning the years from Morgenstern to Sitkovetsky. Mary Fran has been passionate about symphonic music since she took her first music ap- preciation course at Ohio Wesleyan University. She wanted to impart the same passion and love for classical music onto her four children. She and her late husband, Paul, regu- larly attended concerts with them and helped prepare them by checking out recordings of the program music from the Public Library prior to the concerts.

When Mary Fran joined the Guild in 1968, Guild members were responsible for pro- moting the orchestra by selling tickets. Mary Fran was active in this volunteer effort. She also worked on the committee who regularly prepared rehearsal meals for the orchestra. In addition, she served on the Guild’s Hospitality Committee for numerous years. Beginning in 1971, she served as an officer on at least 12 Guild Boards.

In addition to her work as a Guild officer, Mary Fran put her impressive organizational and technical skills to good use in many other committee jobs. She was instrumental in writing, publishing and mailing the Guild’s first newsletter and did this job for many years. She also served as Guild Treasurer for several years and was the first to use a digital form of
accounting to significantly improve the efficiency and accuracy of the process. She published the Deb Handbook for the Presentation Ball Committee and remained an active volunteer with the Homes Tour, Gala, and Golf Classic Committees.

One of her favorite activities was singing second soprano in the Guild’s Women’s Chorus founded by Barbara Bair. For many years, the Women’s Chorus served as an effective marketing tool for the Guild, performing in various churches, community centers and retirement homes.

She played a major role in developing and managing the first Elementary School Concerts. When the concerts were first organized in 1978, it was she who volunteered to work with the schools to manage the complicated transportation schedule. Mary Fran was integral to executing the seating plan and making sure the buses moved along in a timely fashion. Prior to the concerts, she was actively involved with the traveling puppet shows designed by Guild members to teach the school children concert manners and etiquette.

Most recently, when the Guild and GSO celebrated the 40th anniversary of our elementary school concerts with a special luncheon in March of 2018, Mary Fran again put her considerable management skills to task, assisting Chairs Peggy Johnson and Judy Jolly in developing the invitation list, managing the rsvp’s, working out the seating arrangements, and handling the details of the luncheon.

She remains active with the American Association of University Women and she has been active in Leadership Greensboro Sen- iors since its inception.

Mary Fran has contributed her time and talent to the Guild for more than 40 years. Her leadership, management, and technical skills have had an enormous impact and have served as a blueprint for the modern Guild we enjoy today. Congratulations and thank you Mary Fran for your years of service.


2020 Barbara Cone Award Presented to Shawn Houck

From left to right: Helen Rifas (Harpist, GSO & CaringSound), Ruth Metheny (Violinist, GSO & CaringSound), Michelle Schneider (Chief Philanthropy Officer, Office of Institutional Advancement, Cone Health), Bethany Uhler (Cellist, GSO & CaringSound), Shawn Houck, and Susan Kalstrup (Recreational Therapist, Pediatrics, Women’s & Children’s Services, Moses Cone Hospital)

The Greensboro Symphony Guild presented Shawn Houck with the prestigious Barbara Cone Award at the Guild’s general membership meeting on Tuesday, February 18. The Barbara Cone Award was established in 1984 by the Guild’s Board of Directors to honor an individual for distinguished service in the advancement of music in the Greensboro community and for the promotion of the Greensboro Symphony Orchestra.

As a registered clinical nurse, Shawn has refocused her career to include health care education and professional development coordinating workforce development at the regional, state and national level. Shawn is coordinator of regional education at the hospital-based Greensboro Area Health Education Center (GAHEC), which is part of the North Carolina AHEC system. Since joining GAHEC, she has worked to build partnerships among communities, health-care providers and businesses to make those connections and find ways to work together to improve health in the region. She is currently serving on the NC AHEC board of directors and is chair of communications.

Shawn is committed to the power of music as a healing entity.  She proposed and help implement the CaringSound Wellness Program, a therapeutic program for children hospitalized in the Moses Cone Pediatrics Department. CaringSound blends the arts with science and music with health care. It aligns with the direction of the Sound Health initiative of the National Institute of Health to improve health and wellness through music, Shawn said.  Shawn and Susan Kalstrup, recreation therapist in Cone’s children’s services, developed the logistics of CaringSound to avoid conflicts with doctors’ rounds and children’s treatment.  Shawn currently volunteers with the CaringSound Wellness Program.

Shawn has been a board member of the Greensboro Symphony for the past 10 years. She is currently serving a second term as secretary on the Greensboro Symphony Orchestra’s Executive Committee.


2019 Bravo Award Presented to Linda Hiatt

The Greensboro Symphony Guild has selected Linda Hiatt as this year’s recipient of the prestigious Bravo Award. Established in 2004, the Bravo Award recognizes a member in good standing who has been a member of the Greensboro Symphony Guild for five years or less and who has given extensive volunteer service.

pictured in photo:  Emily Reichard (daughter) and Linda Hiatt

Linda Hiatt joined the Greensboro Symphony Guild in 2015 and immediately offered her time and talents for the benefit of the Guild and the Greensboro Symphony Orchestra.  She quickly assumed a leadership role by co-chairing the very successful Feast and Follies fundraiser at LeBauer Park in the fall of 2016.  Linda then became president of the Guild in the 2017-2018 year.

Linda is a veteran in the world of non-profit executive management including special project administration and grant writing services.  She has worked on projects for the Greensboro Housing Authority, Guilford Child Development, the Cemala Foundation and Hospice and Palliative Care.  Linda’s expertise in grant writing has garnered her projects in excess of $75 million in grant funds. 

Linda has been a community activist all of her adult life advocating for women’s and children’s rights. She currently serves on the boards of several community non-profit and arts organizations in Greensboro. 

Linda is a native of Greensboro and earned both her undergraduate and graduate degrees from UNCG. She is married to Peter Reichard and they have a daughter, Emily.  In her spare time, Linda stays fit and active by teaching yoga.

The Symphony Guild is proud and fortunate to recognize Linda Hiatt as the 2019 Bravo Award recipient and looks forward to her contributions for many years to come.