There is absolutely no way that the Mighty 5® Tour could happen without having volunteers to help run and organize the show. The Utah Symphony and Utah Opera have always been deeply indebted to our volunteers and this experience is no different.
I had the chance to talk to Melissa Robison our Volunteer Coordinator, and Publication and Front of House Manager. She has been working hard on working with and training volunteers to make the Mighty 5® Tour spectacular.
Also, if you want to volunteer (and get into these sold out shows), you can still sign up! Just contact Melissa (her number is at the bottom).
USUO: How do you get enough volunteers to make everything work?
Melissa: When we decided we were going to do this tour, we knew it would be impossible to take our awesome volunteer network with us. Fortunately for us, our Education Department already reaches down to Southern Utah, so we decided to look at local volunteers. We created a flier and sent it out to the Chamber of Commerce and arts and local schools and reached out that way to gather volunteers. We did a lot on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, too.
USUO: How many volunteers do you have lined up for the Mighty 5® Tour?
Melissa: We have 70 so far. We are very fortunate that we have a few of our long-term volunteers driving down from Salt Lake City and joining us on the Tour. They will be there all week, and they will be leading and training local volunteers as well. They are donating their time and paying their own way. It is phenomenal. We were not expecting anything like this.
USUO: What are the benefits of being a volunteer for the tour?
Melissa: You get a really cool Mighty 5® Tour shirt and you get to be part of the once of a lifetime opportunity to be a part of something so huge. No other symphony has ever done anything like this. You get to meet the Utah Symphony musicians and Music Director Thierry Fischer and the guest artists we have including Utah soprano Celena Shafer. You get to hear the music for free and be part of this crew to help their communities. The shows are sold out, so being a volunteer is a great way to get in.
USUO: What are some of the different things that the volunteers do?
Melissa: Volunteers will be doing everything from taking tickets and hand stamping to running our standby line for those who want tickets but couldn’t get them. They’ll help coordinate parking lots and help VIP attendees and ADA patrons. They’ll be ushers and help us set up chairs and tents and stuff like that. They really solidify our crew. We would be nothing without them.
USUO: What is the schedule of the volunteer?
Melissa: The timeline of our schedule is cool. Setting up the stage, front of the house, setting up chairs, going to the concerts taking down, sleeping, driving. The trucks are full of everything, we need for the tour plus stacks of water PowerAde, Gatorade. It’s going to be fun.
USUO: There are always volunteers at every Utah Symphony | Utah Opera event. What makes the Mighty 5® Tour different?
Melissa: Compared to Deer Valley, that just finished, we use 100 volunteers a night to run Deer Valley and we’ll probably have the same numbers attending these concerts on the Mighty 5® Tour, but we’ll be doing it with only 30 people. We will all be doing many more things than we usually do just up at Deer Valley. But the nice thing at Deer Valley is that we know where things are and we know what we have. We’ve done a lot of planning at these parks, but there’s just a level of chaos to this because we don’t know all of what it might entail. It’ll be interesting to see how it all works out.
USUO: How important is community support for concerts like the Mighty 5® Tour?
Melissa: There’s no way we could put on this concert without the community. It’s been amazing to watch the communities open up and bend open backwards to allow us to be part of their community for one day. We can’t be down there without helping us coordinate parking and shuttles and garbage and restaurants.
USUO: There are four locations, which one are you looking forward to the most?
Melissa: The concert on the rim of Bryce Canyon. It is right on the rim. The patrons will be sitting right up to the fence to see the sights and views.
USUO: What does your job entail that others wouldn’t think about?
Melissa: Carpooling guests to the show, making sure there is parking. We have created a line of merchandise. The t-shirt for each park and we’ve created a playbill that has the program and has really neat stylized artwork of all the parks that’s been created specifically for this tour. It’s pretty awesome.
USUO: Can people still sign up to volunteer?
Melissa: YES! We need more volunteers for the show at Red Cliffs Lodge on Thursday and at the Bryce Canyon concert on Friday. You can call or text me at (435) 233-0685
Come enjoy the beautiful sights and music. And remember, if you volunteer, you can get into the sold out shows!