The Kennedy Center

Get Involved

WCNSO Header

...supporting the outreach programs of the NSO

The Women's Committee for the National Symphony Orchestra (WC/NSO) was founded in 1941 to provide educational and financial support to the orchestra. Over the years, it has given its support, both as members and volunteers, through a variety of activities. It provides funding for the Principal Oboe Chair, the sixth NSO subscription week and one NSO guest conductor week annually. Women's Committee members organize and staff music education programs for all ages and meet in six regional chapters and as a whole for business, social and musical events.

A Note from the President

Lois Ancona, President WCNSO


Thank you for your interest in the Women's Committee for the National Symphony Orchestra!

The WC/NSO takes pride in the volunteer spirit we bring to the NSO. Thousands of volunteer hours are given annually in support of the National Symphony's many education and community engagement programs including Instrument "Petting Zoos," Family Concerts, Summer Music Institute, Young People's Concerts, Sound Health and NSO In Your Neighborhood. (See descriptions below.)

The National Symphony Orchestra announced two new concert series in the 2015-2016 season – DECLASSIFIED: Fridays at 9 which begin at 9 p.m. and will be a mix of classic and modern sounds and Coffee Concerts which will be preceded by an optional continental breakfast buffet available for purchase in the KC Café at 10 a.m. The Women's Committee is excited to work with the NSO to promote these new concert series.

We would love to have you join us. Membership is open to anyone who shares a love of music, music education and an interest in the National Symphony Orchestra. To become a member, fill out our membership application below and mail it to the address listed.

Lois Ancona

Women's Committee for the National Symphony Orchestra
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
P.O. Box 101510
Arlington, VA 22210
Phone (202) 416-8150
Fax (202) 416-8105

Women's Committee 75th Anniversary

Many of you may be unaware that 2016 is the 75th Anniversary of the founding of the Women’s Committee. I have asked our Historian, Ginni Gorman, to delve through the archives to share some interesting facts each month. This month we are sharing our beginnings: Our organizational luncheon meeting was held on June 6, 1941 at the Carlton Hotel. A group of women supporters created the committee with the approval of the NSO Board of Directors. The attendees adopted the Articles of Incorporation and were addressed by NSO Conductor Hans Kindler and orchestra manager J.P. Hayes. It’s a sign of how different times were 75 years ago that the Evening Star newspaper covered the meeting and reported it in detail. The article stated that the Chairman was Mrs. Walter Bruce Howe, “known in the music world as Mary Howe”. A professional pianist and composer, she had been part of the group that founded the National Symphony Orchestra. The other founding officers were listed as Mrs. Charles Bittner, Mrs. Edwin M. Watson and Mrs. R. H. Dunlap, Vice Chairmen; Mrs. Arthur T. Lyon, Treasurer; Mrs. Robert LeFevre, Recording Secretary; and Mrs. G. K. Rowcliffe, Corresponding Secretary.

"Noteworthy" Newsletters


If you are interested in volunteering for any of the activities listed below please complete the membership application or contact (202) 416-8150.

Instrument Petting Zoos: Prior to Family Concerts and Kinderclassics concerts, children are provided with a hands-on introduction to a variety of musical instruments to open young ears and minds to the magic of music. The Women's Committee owns over 200 musical instruments.

NSO Young People's Concerts: Members serve as monitors for over 40,000 school-aged children at concerts designed to encourage an interest in symphonic music.

Summer Music Institute: Students from ages 15 to 20 are selected to come to the Kennedy Center to participate in four weeks of study with NSO musicians. WC members provide transportation for the students to lessons in the homes of the musicians.

NSO Welcome Center: WC members greet patrons outside the Concert Hall prior to NSO concerts and provide information about the NSO series and other events and activities at the Kennedy Center.

Musical Playtime: Held prior to Teddy Bear Concerts to introduce very young children to musical instruments by encouraging them to make sounds with various instruments.

NSO Sound Health: WC members assist the National Symphony's outreach to area hospitals by setting up small "petting zoos" for patient enjoyment.

NSO In Your Neighborhood: WC members support the NSO's community engagement activities in DC-area neighborhoods each year by setting up traveling "petting zoos" and ushering at large gatherings.

Internships with the National Symphony

Are you interested in a career in the performing arts? Apply to become an intern with the National Symphony Orchestra to gain valuable work experience!

The following internships work closely with the NSO:
NSO Operations Intern
NSO Artistic Planning Intern
Education: NSO Library/Education Intern
Public Relations: Classical Press Intern
Development: National Symphony Orchestra Intern

Priority consideration for these internships will be given to candidates available full-time (40 hours per week, Monday through Friday during standard business hours.)

Please click for more information about internships at the Kennedy Center and instructions on how to apply.

Contact Information

  • National Symphony Orchestra
    John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
    2700 F Street, NW
    Washington, DC 20566
    Phone: 202-416-8100
    Fax: 202-416-8105

    Mailing Address:
    P.O. Box 101510
    Arlington, VA 22210