Volunteers are needed to support the 2019 Symphony Ball: Northern Lights on Saturday, June 8. Symphony Ball is the Minnesota Orchestra’s largest and most important fundraiser of the year. Volunteers play an important role in creating a seamless, successful and enjoyable evening. Please read through the fantastic roles below and submit your volunteer interest(s).

How to sign up to volunteer at Symphony Ball June 8, 2019

  1. RETURNING USERS: If you volunteered last year (or volunteer already for the Minnesota Orchestra in any capacity), you are a returning user -

    Log into Volgistics at the Volunteer portal: minnesotaorchestra.org/volunteer

    Then, click on “Already a volunteer? Log in here.” Your Login will be your email address. If you forgot your password, Volgistics can send you a new password.
  2. FIRST TIME USERS: Please review the positions and then fill out a Symphony Ball Application.
  3. Once logged into Volgistics, click on the My Profile tab and Scroll down to Symphony Ball preferences and select all of the jobs you are willing and able to perform by clicking the box next to the listing. We also appreciate volunteers who are flexible and allow us to schedule them as needed. If this is you, please make sure the click this box in the form.
  4. If you would like to volunteer with a group of friends or family, make sure to include each name in the box provided within the form.
  5. If you would like to invite friends or family to volunteer, please forward to them this link to the volunteer application: minnesotaorchestra.org/volunteer

Pre-event Volunteers, Saturday Afternoon, June 8, 2019

Registration Packet Stuffers – The Hilton
Prepare guest registration packets

Volunteers can expect to:

  • Stand or sit and insert materials into large envelopes

Volunteers in this role must be able to:

  • Stand or sit to complete task
  • Have proficient English reading skills

Shift 1:
Noon – 2 pm
8 volunteers needed
Work at The Hilton

Silent Auction Set-up – The Hilton & Orchestra Hall

Help the Silent Auction team to set-up the silent auction display tables before guest arrival.

Volunteers can expect to:

  • Arrange items by category on auction tables, ensure correct collaterals and signage are displayed

Volunteers in this role must be able to:

  • Stand and walk around to complete task
  • Bend, carry and lift up to 20 lbs
  • Speak and read English proficiently

Shift 1:
10 am – 1pm – Silent Auction Set Up
3 volunteers needed
Work at The Hilton & Orchestra Hall

Silent Auction Safekeeper

Assist with monitoring silent auction items after set-up and until the silent auction event volunteers arrive to ensure the safety of items on display tables.

Shift 1: The Hilton, 1 pm – 4 pm

4 volunteers needed
Event Volunteers

Registration Volunteers

Registration volunteers are a first point of contact for guests attending this splendid event. Volunteers will be located at The Hilton and will greet, check-in, secure pre-payment, hand out event packets and direct patrons into the event. Auction Harmony is our vendor for registration technology.

Volunteers can expect to:

  • Be trained on-site with laptops and credit-card swipers
  • Ensure each guest receives their name badge, bidder number and registration packet of information for the evening
  • Explain the content of the registration packet
  • Help move the registration line along by greeting guests and directing them to alpha specific line
  • Understand the general flow of the event timeline and locations
  • Request assistance to resolve registration problems

Volunteers in this role must:

  • Be comfortable working with the public
  • Be comfortable using technology
  • Have proficient hearing, reading and verbal English skills
  • Be able to stand or sit for shift

Shift 1: The Hilton
8 volunteers needed
4:00 – 8:15pm


Greeters will be positioned at key points of entry at the Hilton to welcome and direct guests to the 3rd floor ballroom. Both Greeters and Seating Captains will help transition guests from dinner at The Hilton to the party at Orchestra Hall (after dinner).

A second crew of volunteer greeters will be needed at Orchestra Hall to welcome partier guests arriving to the Lobby and by Skyway.

Volunteers can expect to:

  • Stand and mingle with guests welcoming and directing them through the party
  • Be situated in all levels of the Hilton including the skyway by parking entrance, inside the main hotel entrance and near elevator bays and escalators
  • Understand the flow of the evening
  • Encourage guests to be seated for dinner
  • Help guests find their numbered table by using a table map
  • Encourage guests to join the caravan to Orchestra Hall for concerts and party

Volunteers in this role must be able to:

  • Engage with major donor patrons
  • Stand and walk
  • Speak and Read English proficiently
  • Read and explain a table map

Shift 1: The Hilton
Greeters: 18 Volunteers are needed
4:00 – 9:00pm
(Hilton main lobby, bottom escalator, 2nd floor escalator, receivers at 3rd floor, parking/skyway, inside the Hilton at the Skyway, Valet)

Shift 2: Orchestra Hall
Greeters: 10 Volunteers are needed
7:00 – 9:30 pm

Seating Captains

Seating Captains will be positioned inside the ballroom to help dinner guests find their tables at the start of the dinner portion of the evening. Seating Captains will also remain in the ballroom to assist guests as needed as the leave and reenter the ballroom.

Shift 1: Hilton
Seating Captains: 6 Volunteers are needed
5:30 - 9:00pm

Silent Auction Monitor

Silent Auction Monitors will mingle with guests at The Hilton, answer questions, assist with app bidding, and monitor bidding at the bid tables. All bids will be made using Auction Harmony technology either via tablets and/or smartphones. Silent Auction Monitors will keep an eye on displays and ensure that no one tampers with or removes items from the silent auction area. As the Silent Auction closes, Silent Auction Monitors will pack up auction items and auction display. Auction Harmony will generate a packing list for each guest who won prizes that night. Volunteers will pack all items on a slip into a bag for that guest. All packaged auction items will be physically moved from The Hilton to Orchestra Hall for auction close set-up, where they will be alphabetized by guest name in the auction pick up and check out area.

Volunteers can expect to:

  • Greet patrons and assist with bidding as needed
  • Answer questions about bidding technology
  • Support patron in placing or increasing a bid on a tablet or smartphone
  • Monitor technology and immediately report issues to M.O. or Auction Harmony staff member
  • Encourage bidding
  • Close auction, pack items and displays. Transport items from The Hilton to Orchestra Hall.

Volunteers in this role must:

  • Be comfortable using technology including tablets and smartphone
  • Be willing to assist donors place and increase bid
  • Be comfortable mingling and engaging patrons in conversation
  • Be able to stand and walk
  • Be able to bend, lift and carry up to 20 lbs
  • Have proficient hearing and verbal English skills

Shift 1: The Hilton
Silent Auction Monitors
8 Volunteers needed
4:00 – 9:30*pm (*Dinner begins at 6:30pm – Auction will remain open until 8:30 pm. Monitors will pack and move all auction items to Orchestra Hall after the Auction closes.)

Shift 2: Orchestra Hall
Silent Auction Monitors
6:30 – 9:30 pm Silent Auction Monitors
4 volunteers needed
Work at Orchestra Hall

Live Auction and Fund-the-Music Spotters

Spotters for the Live Auction and Fund the Music play a critical role during a high intensity and critical fundraising moment. Spotters will act as a visual liaison between the bidder and the auctioneer for both the Live Auction and the Fund-the-Music.

The Live Auction happens first.
Volunteers will be positioned throughout the Hilton ballroom, assigned to several tables to monitor for bidding. Live Auction Spotters will boldly signal the auctioneer when a guest near them raises their hand to bid on a live auction item. When your donor is the winner you will loudly announce the winning bidder number to the auctioneer. Next, one of six recorders will come to you to document the winning bid amount announced by the auctioneer using the Auction Harmony bid tablets for each item sold. Donors throughout the ballroom may participate so this volunteer must be hyper-aware of their section of guests.

Following the Live Auction will be the Fund-the-Music.
During this time, you will once again be the liaison between the donor and the auctioneer. The auctioneer will begin a process of raising funds at set giving levels working down a ladder of levels. Each table will have bidding tablets and each volunteer will be assigned to monitor several tables and will also have a tablet. Volunteers will monitor their tables for donors who raise their hand or bidder number to participate in giving. The spotter will then hand a tablet to this donor or ensure a tablet on the table is passed to the donor to complete their Fund-the-Music gift. The spotter may need to assist donor in documenting their gift with the Auction Harmony bid tablets. The auctioneer will raise money at multiple levels. The auctioneer will signal spotters at a specific giving level (announced during the on-site event night training) when each spotter will assist each table with circulating the tablets to every guest at least one time.

Spotters will also have gift envelopes and pens in the event that a donor has preference to write a check. Spotters will collect these gifts and give them to one of the recorders (M.O. Staff members) at the end of the fundraising.

Volunteers can expect:

  • To support both the Live Auction and the Fund-the-Music
  • To monitor approximately 4 tables in the ballroom for both fundraising activities
  • To boldly signal to auctioneer when a donor raises hand to bid on auction item or at a giving level for Fund-the-Music
  • To listen carefully for bidding amounts to help confirm final live auction price. For the live auction, spotter of winning bidder will record winning bid, bidder and item by hand on paper with pen.
  • To answer donor questions and provide gift envelopes if requested
  • To assist donors in finalizing their auction item or fund-a-need gift using Auction Harmony technology (Fund-the-Music, only)

Volunteers in this role must:

  • Be able to visually spot donor bidding in a high-stress environment, and boldly signal auctioneer by waiving their arms
  • Engage in highly social interaction
  • Be able to stand and walk
  • Be comfortable using and assisting with technology
  • Have proficient hearing and verbal English skills

Shift 1: The Hilton
20 volunteers needed (approx. two tables to one volunteer.)
6:00pm – 8:30pm – Training at 6:30 pm


Check-Out will assist our event guests and partner Auction Harmony with the auction and activities check out.

Volunteers can expect to:

  • Work directly with vendor Auction Harmony who will direct and lead all efforts for auction close
  • Locate packaged items and retrieve them for patrons who are checking out
  • Assist with final check-out using laptops to process all donations and auction items

Volunteers in this role must:

  • Be able to stand, walk, climb stairs and physically lift and carry items.
  • Engage in highly social activity
  • Be comfortable using technology (those who help with actual check-out)
  • Have proficient hearing and verbal and written English skills
  • Lift 20 lbs.
  • Be comfortable with high stress situations and people of all demeanors

Shift 1: Orchestra Hall
8 volunteers needed
9:00pm – 1 am

The Symphony Ball is a time to come together and celebrate the Minnesota Orchestra and its contribution to our great community. Sponsorships provide a fun, elegant and effective way to invest in the quality of life in the Twin Cities while supporting the Minnesota Orchestra and entertaining clients and colleagues. We invite you to consider the following sponsorship and recognition opportunities and join us in support of this very special event. Download our corporate sponsorship pledge form (pdf).

Current Corporate Sponsors

Presenting Sponsor

Platinum Sponsors

Gold Sponsors

Silver Sponsors

Ballard Spahr
Dorsey & Whitney LLP
Fabulous Catering
Faegre Baker Daniels LLP
Fox Rothschild, LLP
Fredrikson & Byron, P.A.
Jones Day
Norwest Equity Partners
Okabena Investment Services, Inc.
PNC Financial Services
Robins Kaplan, LLP
TCF Financial Corporation
U.S. Bank

Additional Support Provided by:

Delta Air Lines
DRY Soda Co.
Fabulous Catering
Felhaber Larson
HGA Architects and Engineers
Lavender Magazine
Minnesota Vikings
Sociable Cider Werks
The Star Tribune

If you have questions, please contact John Dunkel at 612-371-5659.

Please join us Saturday, June 8 for the 2019 Symphony Ball,

a gala benefiting the Minnesota Orchestra

This Event is Sold Out

Symphony Ball 2019


This spectacular show will light up the night in luminous hues as the Minnesota Orchestra takes the stage, elevating the tremendous cultural and artistic heritage of our community.

Join us for dinner with the musicians and a unique auction experience at the Hilton before the show or join the party at Orchestra Hall with a champagne hour before the musician curated program, featuring an exciting guest artist. Orchestra Hall will then be transformed with light as the night continues with dancing, music, drinks and desserts.

2019 Program & Auction Catalog »

Just want to party? Come for the concert, stay for the party >>

Light and sound take center stage in adventurous new ways as the night moves from the ethereal to electric, transforming the Hilton and Orchestra Hall into the night sky. The evening culminates in a world-class performance featuring music inspired by the magic of northern lights by the Minnesota Orchestra led by Music Director Osmo Vänskä.

This year's special guest artist is none other than the soulful, folk singer/songwriter Chastity Brown who will perform two pieces with the Orchestra, followed by a separate 30 minute solo set. Chastity Brown is based in Minnesota and has been featured on NPR’s “Favorite Sessions,” CMT, American Songwriter, The London Times, Paste Magazine and others. Chastity has toured the US and abroad, appearing on the UK’s Later…with Jools Holland.

Chastity Brown
Special guest artist Chastity Brown | Photo © Nate Ryan

This 63rd-annual Ball, which is the Orchestra’s most significant annual fundraising event, is chaired by Betsy Frost and Charlie Anderson, with Honorary Chair Marilyn Carlson Nelson.

The Minnesota Orchestra performs at Symphony Ball


5:00 PM Dinner Guest arrival ; welcome reception and silent auction (Hilton Hotel)
6:45 PM Dinner (Hilton Hotel)
7:45 PM Live Auction and Fund the Music (Hilton Hotel)
Dinner guests move to Orchestra Hall for concert and party
9:15 PM Minnesota Orchestra performance featuring Chastity Brown
10:00 PM Desserts and Dancing begins with Synergy Dance Band
10:15 PM Chastity Brown and her band
1:00 AM Event Concludes

The Orchestra Hall lobby sparkles for Symphony Ball

Join us at the Symphony Ball

Saturday the Eighth of June

Black Tie Recommended

Hilton Hotel • 1001 Marquette Avenue, Minneapolis
Orchestra Hall • 1111 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis

Valet Parking available at Hilton Hotel


Special thanks to Presenting Sponsor:

Best Buy