Sarah Weber, Executive Director
Association of California Symphony Orchestras


Thursday, August 25, 2022 – The Association of California Symphony Orchestras (ACSO) is pleased to announce that Nancy Israel, Board Member of New West Symphony, is a recipient of the 2022 Most Valuable Player (MVP) Volunteer Award.

ACSO launched the MVP Volunteer Award in 1996 to recognize exemplary volunteers, volunteer projects, and volunteer organizations and to thank a few of the hundreds of dedicated, hardworking, and committed volunteers that orchestras and classical music organizations depend on every day.

“Nancy Israel’s boundless energy and fierce uncompromising dedication to music has enhanced and encouraged the New West Symphony since its inception in 1995,” said New West Symphony CEO Natalia Staneva. “Nancy and her late husband founded a gala fundraising series that Nancy hosted more than ten years in his memory, and she brought in substantial funds and attendees for at least thirty other gala events. She is a dear friend to many of the young musicians who were nurtured by the Symphony over the years, and she has taken an active interest in all of the Symphony’s educational programs. Nancy has been honored by the City of Thousand Oaks, and she actively keeps the New West Symphony in the consciousness of city government and the community. At the age of 93, she continues volunteering her time, talent and treasure. Nancy is an absolute gem in our New West Symphony family.”

ACSO Executive Director Sarah Weber said, “During good times and bad, orchestras depend on volunteers to help with almost every aspect of their operations. They are working behind the scenes and out in front as ambassadors to make sure that their orchestra is strong and active in the performance hall and in the community. Nancy is an outstanding example of how critical volunteers are to keeping our orchestras vital and resilient.”

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Founded in 1995, the New West Symphony is a professional orchestra that draws its players from the rich talent pool of professional Los Angeles-area musicians. The Symphony presents six Masterpiece Series concerts annually, performing major works from the symphonic repertoire with internationally-acclaimed artists as guest soloists.  The Symphony also provides quality outreach and educational opportunities for the communities it serves through its annual Symphonic Adventures concert programs for youth, its traveling Music Van, and the Laby Harmony Project, a year-round music and leadership program for underserved students.

The Association of California Symphony Orchestras (ACSO), founded in 1969, is a member service organization representing 120 classical music organizations and their 2,000 board and staff in its network. ACSO’s members are comprised of professional, academic, youth and community-based orchestras, choruses, and festivals in California and the western region. To read about all our 2022 award winners, click